Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Hinduism & Tibetan Buddhism A personal spiritual teacher.
  • n. A teacher and guide in spiritual and philosophical matters.
  • n. A trusted counselor and adviser; a mentor.
  • n. A recognized leader in a field: the guru of high finance.
  • n. An acknowledged and influential advocate, as of a movement or idea: "In a culture that worships slimness, he was the Guru of Lean” ( Erica Abeel).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as gooroo.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A Hindu spiritual teacher or guide. Also written gooroo.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. each of the first ten leaders of the Sikh religion
  • n. a recognized leader in some field or of some movement
  • n. a Hindu or Buddhist religious leader and spiritual teacher

Etymologies

Hindi guru, from Sanskrit guruḥ, from guru-, heavy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Hindi गुरू (guru) / Urdu گرو (guru), from Sanskrit गुरु (gurú, "venerable, respectable"), originally "heavy" and in this sense cognate to English grieve. (A traditional etymology based on the Advaya Taraka Upanishad (line 16) describes the syllables gu as 'darkness' and ru as 'destroyer', thus meaning "one who destroys/dispels darkness") (Wiktionary)

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