mentee

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Back-formation from mentor. Although mentor comes from Ancient Greek Μέντωρ (Méntōr), the name of a mythological figure, it was reanalyzed as terminating in the suffix -or (doer), leading to a form using the French patientive suffix -ee on the model of pairs such as donor-donee and employer-employee. Attested since at least 1958.

Noun[edit]

mentee (plural mentees)

  1. A person who is being mentored
    • 1958, Laurence E. Leamer, “Economic Education in Colleges”, in Educating Youth for Economic Competence (American Business Education Yearbook)‎[1], volume 15, Eastern Business Teachers Association, page 49:
      The mentee occasionally teaches the class, regularly confers with students, conducts optional special study sessions, and relieves the professor of most clerical classroom functions
    • 1979 April 11, Robert A. Cohn, “Norma Rae' Gets an 'A”, in St. Louis Jewish Light[2], page 14:
      [T]he two characters form a beautiful mentor-mentee relationship in which each derives tremendous strength from the other

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