late 14c., "guardian, custodian," from O.Fr. tutour "guardian, private teacher," from L. tutorem (nom. tutor) "guardian, watcher," from tutus, variant pp. of tueri "watch over," of unknown origin. Specific sense of "senior boy appointed to help a junior in his studies" is recorded from 1680s. The verb is attested from 1590s; tutorial (adj.) is recorded from 1742; as a noun it is attested from 1923.