Definition of tutor in English:



  • 1A private teacher, typically one who teaches a single pupil or a very small group.

    ‘a voluntary tutor in adult literacy’
    ‘a private tutor’
    ‘tutor to the Prince of Wales’
    • ‘In his memoirs, he recalls the efforts of a Latin tutor to teach him the cases for the Latin for ‘table’.’
    • ‘After being educated at home with a private tutor, who also taught the sons of Edward Young's first marriage, Alfred went to Monkton Combe school near Bath.’
    • ‘Her inability to retain information frustrated her teachers and private tutors, who thought she was being deliberately recalcitrant.’
    • ‘She was raised in what most people would consider a wealthy household, taught by private tutors.’
    • ‘He was probably a private tutor who taught the sons of gentlemen the virtues proper to the ruling class.’
    • ‘Hardy had just come onto the staff at Trinity and he acted as a private tutor to Mercer.’
    • ‘Children expect and even ask the private tutor to do the homework for them.’
    • ‘In 1893 he relinquished that post to devote himself to scientific research, earning a modest income as a private tutor to medical students.’
    • ‘‘I would like to return to Madeira to teach adults English as a private tutor,’ she said.’
    • ‘And now, in the worst possible solution for everyone, the ten-year-old girl is being kept at home and educated by a private tutor, at a cost that Mrs Green cannot afford.’
    • ‘After his primary education was completed, Vico served as a private tutor to the nephews of the bishop of Ischia.’
    • ‘He supported himself by working as a private tutor and as a teacher at the secondary and teacher-training levels.’
    • ‘My advice is to keep your son at his present school and employ a private tutor to improve his grades rather than drag him kicking and screaming to a new school that he does not want to attend.’
    • ‘He did not attend school, but was educated by private tutors in his own home until he reached the age to enter university.’
    • ‘She works as a private tutor to an American widow in Italy and as a secretary for a literary magazine in Brighton.’
    • ‘After arriving in London he became a private tutor of mathematics, visiting the pupils whom he taught and also teaching in the coffee houses of London.’
    • ‘His family was so poor that he had to make money as a private tutor to enable him to support himself through university.’
    • ‘She has now got a private tutor to come to their home, but this is proving too costly.’
    • ‘She was educated by tutors and at private school, and her first job was at a stock company in Baltimore.’
    • ‘From 1743 he was a private tutor and school teacher until in 1748 he found a position as librarian of the collection of Imperial Count Heinrich von Bünau near Dresden.’
    teacher, instructor, educator, educationalist, educationist
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    1. 1.1British A university or college teacher responsible for the teaching and supervision of assigned students.
      ‘my history tutor’
      as modifier ‘tutor groups’
      • ‘I've had a lot of advice from fellow students and tutors.’
      • ‘Graduate Fashion Week is a nerve-wracking time for students and tutors staging 31 shows which attract over 40,000 visitors.’
      • ‘Teachers or college tutors take the courses, which are usually attended by around 10 parents two hours a week.’
      • ‘My tutors and fellow students also gave me something else.’
      • ‘History tutors also express dismay at their students' lack of language skills, which means that all foreign texts have to be translated.’
      • ‘And students and their tutors from schools, colleges and training companies from all across Wiltshire will be honoured.’
      • ‘Yesterday was my first official day at university, the first opportunity to meet my tutors and fellow students.’
      • ‘RECORD A-level results mean delight for students and teachers - but misery for university admissions tutors.’
      • ‘But Ramsay's four-letter tirades and uncompromising approach has not gone down so well with catering tutors hoping to attract students to courses at South Trafford College.’
      • ‘She said: ‘The Ofsted report shows that the tutors and students have a lot to be proud about.’’
      • ‘Although students may not be formally assessed upon the quality of their contributions, conscientious, responsive individuals and analytically minded students are noticed by tutors.’
      • ‘Students will be given feedback on their coursework by tutors and there will be seminars in the form of online exchanges between groups of students and a tutor.’
      • ‘Mature students are, as a rule, the kinds of students university tutors dream about: keen, committed and interested.’
      • ‘Creative-writing tutors encourage student authors to ‘write about what they know’ and to ‘keep it real’.’
      • ‘She grew to love London, the Slade, its tutors, the students and the art community and felt it was where she belonged.’
      • ‘He was destined for a bright future and will be sorely missed by the tutors and students on his course.’
      • ‘The image would not have been possible to lay down without help from friends, fellow students and tutors, said Ruth.’
      • ‘She has also worked as a tutor for the Open University and as a non-stipendiary minister.’
      • ‘College authorities have banned tutors from offering students a predinner drink and the timing of Hall has been brought forward to discourage excessive drinking before dinner.’
      • ‘Other critics who thought the president's proposals do not go far enough have pressed for additional funds to provide tutors to help disadvantaged students meet the proposed standards in mathematics and reading.’
    2. 1.2US An assistant lecturer in a college or university.
      • ‘In nearby Chester, Pa., he led an education and mentoring program for underprivileged children where he helped link children and their parents with tutors from the college.’
      • ‘Artem rested an elbow on the railing behind him, unconsciously taking the position one of my tutors frequently assumed when about to launch into a long lecture.’
      • ‘He also tutors at Aurora University, Aurora, Illinois.’
      • ‘Peter Pesic is a tutor and musician-in-residence at St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico.’
      • ‘Two years later, President John Thornton Kirkland of Harvard appointed Emerson to be a tutor in the Department of Mathematics.’
      • ‘Most participants in these two projects have been able to follow through on advice about getting help, namely by utilizing tutors or remedial assistance.’
      • ‘The researchers asked the tutors to mark both the beginning and the end of the clause containing errors.’
      • ‘Input was sought from experienced tutors in Health Sciences at McMaster University regarding process issues arising within tutored groups.’
      • ‘In this system, prevalent today, college undergraduates are employed as writing center tutors.’
      • ‘Usually by the end my tutor was up and lecturing, with animated gestures accompanying his words.’
      • ‘A University cannot function without its teaching staff - whether they be deans, professors, readers, lecturers or tutors.’
      • ‘We spent festive evenings at Riversdale enjoying fine Australian wine and cuisine, and taking in thought-provoking lectures by the tutors.’
      • ‘Following a continental tour, Bancroft returned to America in 1822 to serve at Harvard as a Latin tutor and an occasional preacher.’
      • ‘They divided 100 students into groups of 25 and a tutor was assigned to each group.’
      • ‘We met with his college tutors, who had not seen him for six months.’
      • ‘Based on the model of education in Oxford University, Torrey uses tutors who teach a Great Book program from a perspective of traditional Christianity.’
      • ‘It is taught exclusively by Stanford faculty, and undergraduates serve as writing tutors and course assistants.’
      • ‘‘The tutors will tell [students] what professors won't,’ Brown says.’
      • ‘They have access to college counselors and tutors.’
      • ‘The class was co-taught by two teachers, both graduate students in education at a local university; three undergraduate tutors also assisted with small group work.’
      university teacher, college teacher, reader, instructor, scholar, don, professor, fellow, doctor, researcher
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    3. 1.3British A book of instruction in a particular subject.
      ‘this hardback is a complete guide, tutor, and reference’
      ‘a guitar tutor’
      • ‘I'm hoping my piano tutor book will arrive tomorrow, too, or the day after, and then I can begin work in earnest.’
      • ‘A friend back home had provided me with a stack of tutor books and sheet music, and these disappeared for a few days, presumably while one of the Wai Wai studied them.’


  • 1Act as a tutor to (a single pupil or a very small group)

    ‘his children were privately tutored’
    • ‘A number of Teagasc teaching staff have already been equipped with skills to tutor distance-learning students over the internet.’
    • ‘‘Most of our trombone players are beginners and the rest don't have time to tutor freshmen,’ came his reply.’
    • ‘Another way faculty survive is by tutoring students who are preparing for entrance exams.’
    • ‘And before leaving New York three years ago, he tutored disadvantaged students in Washington Heights and served as a mentor in a Big Brother-like program.’
    • ‘She now terms herself unemployed, but is involved with tutoring schoolchildren in Harlem.’
    • ‘That was fine with him; he had been privately tutored all his life and didn't care about his education.’
    • ‘Students tutoring other students also use the lounge.’
    • ‘He then showed his inclination to teach by tutoring the other pupils at the school for their final examinations although he was much younger than the pupils he helped.’
    • ‘I'm out of home ec now that the semester is ended, and I am commuting over to the elementary school to tutor fifth and sixth graders!’
    • ‘Students entering the Academy will be tutored by the very best in the industry.’
    • ‘I replied, wondering why he wanted me to tutor a student in my grade.’
    • ‘She filled the time by tutoring groups of local and Korean students in English which she proved to be very good at.’
    • ‘I have to tutor some freshmen in Spanish after school.’
    • ‘Upon their return, she was enrolled in the Phoebe Anne Thorne School, where she received a classical education and was tutored in French.’
    • ‘His father still could afford a good education for his son and Halley was tutored privately at home before being sent to St Paul's School.’
    • ‘The subject for this case study consisted of a Chinese EFL learner who was tutored on-line by a pair of pre-service American teachers.’
    • ‘After this Boyle was tutored privately by one of his father's chaplains.’
    • ‘A tall boy with long brown hair was tutoring another student.’
    • ‘Or more advanced students can start by tutoring the ones with less technical knowledge.’
    • ‘In some secondary schools as many as 60% of pupils are being tutored at home as parents attempt to make up for shortcomings in the state education system.’
    teach, instruct, give lessons to, educate, school, coach, train, drill, upskill, direct, guide, groom
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    1. 1.1no object Work as a tutor.
      ‘she is scraping a living on part-time tutoring’
      with object ‘she agreed to tutor a week's art course’
      • ‘His relations with his aunt deteriorated, however, and Nielsen left her home when he was fourteen and he continued at school but earned his living by tutoring.’
      • ‘After the award of her doctorate she earned some money by tutoring but also continued to work hard on her mathematics, continuing to develop the ideas from her thesis.’
      • ‘Mordell had to earn the money for his passage to England, and this he did, with some help from his parents, mainly by tutoring his fellow pupils for seven hours a day to earn enough to pay for his passage.’
      • ‘When Smith, a retired nurse, isn't tutoring at the local elementary school, she spends her days at the local senior center, where she met her second husband Emmett.’
      • ‘I know this because of my brain-snapping three-train and one bus two-hour trips from Harris Park to Bankstown when I was tutoring at the UWS campus there.’
      • ‘I study and I do part time work tutoring or gardening (mow lawns).’
      • ‘My primary activity in the UK will be Internet research, writing, tutoring (in the client's home) and supply/substitute teaching.’
      • ‘He also worked part time tutoring during the university term.’
      • ‘He gained ‘colonial experience’ while tutoring at George Campbell's farm at Duntroon, NSW.’
      • ‘He paid his expenses by tutoring, working in the summer and, in his junior year, by obtaining a scholarship in physics and working as a laboratory assistant.’


Late Middle English: from Old French tutour or Latin tutor, from tueri ‘to watch, guard’.