Definition: Guru

From New World Encyclopedia


From Hindi गुरु or guru / Punjabi ਗੁਰੂ or gurū, from Sanskrit गुरु or guru (venerable, respectable), originally "heavy" and in this sense cognate to English grieve and, more distantly, brute. Doublet of grave. A traditional, though flawed etymology based on the Advayataraka Upanishad (line 16)[1] describes the syllables gu as “darkness” and ru as “destroyer”, thus ascribing the meaning of "one who destroys/dispels darkness" to the word.


guru (plural gurus)

  1. In Indian tradition, a knowledgable teacher who guides his shishya (disciple/lit. seeker of knowledge or truth)
  2. A Hindu or Sikh spiritual teacher.
  3. (sometimes humorous) An influential advisor or mentor.

Derived terms

  • guruhood
  • guruism
  • guruji
  • guruship
  • tech guru


guru (third-person singular simple present gurus, present participle guruing, simple past and past participle gurued)

  1. To act as a guru; to give wise advice.


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