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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Latin praeceptor (commander; instructor), from the verb praecipiō + -or (-er: forming agent nouns), from prae- (pre-, fore-: before) + capiō (to take; to get, to take in, to understand).



preceptor (plural preceptors)

  1. A teacher or tutor. [from 15th c.]
    • c. 1793, Edward Gibbon, Memoirs, Penguin 1990, p. 64:
      A man who had thought so much on the subjects of language and education was surely no ordinary preceptor.
    • 1905, George Bernard Shaw, The author's apology from Mrs. Warren's Profession, page 61:
      We shall resume our studies later on; but just now I am tired of playing the preceptor; and the eager thirst of my pupils for improvement does not console me for the slowness of their progress.
  2. (historical) The head of a preceptory of Knights Templar. [from 15th c.]
  3. (medicine, chiefly US) A doctor who gives practical training to medical students, nurses etc. [from 19th c.]
    Coordinate term: orientee

Derived terms[edit]




From French précepteur, from Latin praeceptor.


preceptor m (plural preceptori)

  1. private tutor




Latin praeceptor


  • IPA(key): (Spain) /pɾeθebˈtoɾ/, [pɾe.θeβ̞ˈt̪oɾ]
  • IPA(key): (Latin America) /pɾesebˈtoɾ/, [pɾe.seβ̞ˈt̪oɾ]


preceptor m (plural preceptores, feminine preceptora, feminine plural preceptoras)

  1. preceptor
    • 1875, Benito Pérez Galdós, “chapter 16”, in 7 de Julio:
      Bajaba sí a la clase, puntual como un reloj; pero no tomaba las lecciones, ni reprendía a los chicos, y la palmeta se cubría de polvo en un rincón de la mesa. El preceptor absolutista no podía apartar el pensamiento de la tremenda imagen negra de su responsabilidad y castigo, si por acaso las brillantes esperanzas de don Víctor Sáez y del conde de Moy no tenían realización cumplida. Y síntomas había ¡cielos! de que no la tuviesen.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
  2. teacher

Further reading[edit]