A mentor is a person who trains and guides someone, like the second-grade English teacher who saw the spark of creativity in your writing and encouraged you to become a professional author.

The original Mentor was a character in Homer's epic poem The Odyssey; Mentor looked after Odysseus's family, particularly his son Telemachus, while Odysseus was off fighting in the Trojan War. Today the word is used to describe any person who acts as an advisor or teacher. As a noun, mentor describes the coach who taught you to play baseball. As a verb, mentor is what the coach does to help you improve your swing.

Definitions of mentor

n a wise and trusted guide and advisor

wise man
a mentor in spiritual and philosophical topics who is renowned for profound wisdom
a Hebrew title of respect for a wise and highly educated man
(Hinduism) term of respect for a brahmin sage
Type of:
intellect, intellectual
a person who uses the mind creatively

v serve as a teacher or trusted counselor

“The famous professor mentored him during his years in graduate school”
“She is a fine lecturer but she doesn't like mentoring
Type of:
instruct, learn, teach
impart skills or knowledge to

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