What’s another word for guru?

What's Another Word For Guru?

From authority figure to teacher, here are the 6 answers to the question, "What's another word for guru? Why do you prefer using this word over the word "guru"?"

  • Authority Figure
  • Thought Leader
  • Mentor
  • Expert
  • Acharya
  • Teacher

Authority Figure

I love this description because it paints a picture of a person who commands respect surrounding their craft. “Authority figure” automatically paints a picture of someone who is trusted, innovative and highly regarded. While building my successful YouTube channel, MedTwice, a person referred to me as an “authority figure” in the comments. I took this as a huge compliment, as I think anyone would.

Michael Green, Co-Founder, Winona

Thought Leader

I don't know if I prefer it, but I hear 'thought leader' often these days and it seems similar to what people would consider a 'guru'. For example, if you are a tech guru who is designing new software and regularly has revolutionary ideas, you are probably also considered a 'thought leader'. It kind of fits.Thought leaders are everywhere in our online society right now and can be found on LinkedIn, podcasts, Instagram stories/TikTok, guest-writing articles, and so much more.They are usually called thought leaders, but could also be considered gurus as well.

Shaun Connell, Founder, Writing Tips Institute

Shaun Connell, Writing Tips Institute


The word 'guru' immediately sends off red flags to me. With so many online money-making schemes claiming to be developed by "gurus," the word now comes off as inauthentic and spammy.I prefer the word 'mentor.' It feels more personal, like a one-on-one relationship. It takes a lot of time, experience, and patience to mentor someone effectively, and the word gives off more of a bespoke vibe rather than a get-rich-quick scheme.

Alli Hill, Founder and Director, Fleurish Freelance


I love the word “expert”. I mean, what’s not to love? It implies a level of mastery and authority that is hard to come by in today’s age of information overload and so-called “gurus" Don't get me wrong – I have nothing against the word “guru", but it just doesn't quite capture the same level of knowledge and expertise as the word "expert" does. To me, an expert is someone who has studied their craft for years, dedicating countless hours to honing their skills and learning from failures along the way. They are truly masters of their domain, experts in every sense of the word That's why I prefer using "expert" over "guru" when referring to anyone who has mastered a particular field or topic – because it paints a more accurate picture of who they really are: experienced professionals at the top of their game!

Jamie Irwin, Director, Straight Up Search


Acharya is another name for guru. The reason I choose the word "guru" is that it combines the words "gu" (for darkness) and "ru" (for light), which combined indicate "divine light that dispels all darkness." Guru is the light that dispels ignorance's gloom. Gurus are not merely teachers.

In my opinion, a guru is a counselor who aids in the formation of values, imparts knowledge that is both experienced and literal, serves as a role model in life and a source of inspiration for students as well as aids in their spiritual development.On a personal level, the guru can be many different things, such as a teacher, a counselor, someone who aids in the development of the mind and Self-realization, someone who instills values and experiential knowledge, a role model, an inspiration, and someone who supports a student's spiritual growth.

David Reid, Sales Director, VEM-Tooling Co. Ltd.


Guru is typically synonymous with "Expert". While they are both great descriptive words, what is a guru without the spreading of their knowledge? For this reason, I prefer the word "Teacher". A teacher is a guru/expert who is using their knowledge for the betterment of others. I'd much rather be known as a great teacher, than a great guru because that implies that there is value that I am providing to others in the form of knowledge.

Mike Podesto, Founder & CEO, Find My Profession

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