Friday, April 5, 2013


tutelar [tutlər] a.

1.) Of supernatural powers: Having the position of protector, guardian, or patron; esp. protecting or watching over a particular person, place, or thing.
2.) transf. Of or pertaining to protection or a protector or guardian; protective.

tutelar [tutlər] n.

1.) One who is tutelar; a tutelar deity, angel, or saint. Also transf. and fig. (Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Edition).

Etymology: from Latin tūtēla, watching, keeping, guardianship (from tūt-, participle stem of tuērī, to watch).

"So, having made his arrangements and offered vows to the gods, when he was seen in the streets advancing at the head of his men to engage the enemy, a confused noise of shouts, congratulations, vows, and prayers was raised by the Syracusans, who now called Dion their deliverer and tutelar deity, and his soldiers their friends, brethren, and fellow-citizens" (Plutarch's Lives Translated From the Greek by Several Hands, John Dryden (trans.), 1683).

(Sword of Damocles, Richard Westall, 1812)


Evi @ sexta-feira said...

Hi E,

Dodoni is my village. There is an ancient open-air theater (the oldest in Greece) and also the ancient oracle where priests used to listen to the sound the wind made through the leaves and give answers to people about their future. That's why "Dodonean trees do sing".
I'll be glad to see "Dodonean" on your blog. Did I misspell it, by the way?

Nathyness said...

First word that came to mind was "tutelage". I see where it's derived from now.

Ed @ Lexicolatry said...

This words appears a lot in history books, as in 'the tutelar Praetorian guard' (a tautology, I know, but it's the only example I could think of). I had no idea its origins were supernatural though.

Poke The Rock said...

Tutelar, I wonder if it is related in anyway to tutor?

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I had the same thought as Poke the Rock. Tutors and teachers have a kind of guardianship function too -- the protection and advancement of young minds.

Bibi said...

I have a question unrelated to the words, but it is related to your posts in general. How do you pick the illustrations? Did you know all these paintings before writing the post? Or did you find the word and think "oh that relates to this or that subject/story/topos I once heard of, let's see if there's a nice painting depicting that subject/story/topos out there to illustrate my post"?

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