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Look up adviser in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Look up advisor in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

An adviser or advisor is normally a person with more and deeper knowledge in a specific area and usually also includes persons with cross functional and multidisciplinary expertise. An adviser's role is that of a mentor or guide and differs categorically from that of a task specific consultant. An adviser is typically part of the leadership, where as consultants fulfill functional roles.[1]

The spellings adviser and advisor have both been in use since the sixteenth century.[2] Adviser has always been the more usual spelling, though advisor has gained frequency in recent years and is a common alternative, especially in North America.[3][4]


The use of adviser is of English origin, with "er" as a noun ending, and advisor of Latin origin.[5] The words are etymological twin cognates and are considered interchangeable.

Word usage

Usage of the two words is normally a matter of choice but they should not be used together in the same document. The Associated Press prefers (AP Stylebook) the use of "adviser" but Virginia Tech (style guide) gives preference to "advisor" stating, "which is used more commonly in academe" and "Adviser is acceptable in releases going to organizations that follow AP style.".[6] Purdue University Office of Marketing and Media's Editorial Style Guide gives preference to "advisor".[7] The European Commission uses "adviser(s)",[8] the UK has Special advisers, as well as the Scottish Government,[9] and the United Nations uses Special Advisers. The US government uses both; Council of Economic Advisers, Office of the Legal Adviser, Deputy National Security Advisor (deputy to the President's NSA), Legal "Advisor" (Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy Combatants), that was part of the team tasked to conduct Combatant Status Review Tribunals of captives detained in Guantanamo Bay, and laws Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs's Fulbright Program has "advisers".

Other uses


Government positions


Specific advisory companies

Specific advisory services


Examples of the use of adviser and advisor in the media on a particular subject.


Use of "advisor" appeared in print in the United States in 1889, with The Tennessee Justice and Legal Advisor by William C. Kain and Horace N. Hawkins.[18] The Department of Justice of the United States, Issue 15, printed 1927, by The Institute For Government Research uses both, "1. Political adviser and assistant to the President" and "Legal Advisor. Like all the other cabinet officers, the Attorney General is a political advisor of the President.".[19]


See also


  1. Definition agreed on by both professional advisors and consultants in business magazine along with functional workflow graphic."The Difference Between Consultants and Advisors"
  2. Oxford English Dictionary, s.vv. "adviser" and "advisor" (subscription required).
  3. Google Ngram Viewer, "adviser, advisor".
  4. Oxford Dictionaries, s.v. "adviser".
  5. Adviser versus advisor- Retrieved 2014-05-25
  6. Virginia Tech usage Archived May 26, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.- Retrieved 2014-05-14
  7. "Editorial Style Guide". Purdue University. 2014-11-24. Archived from the original on 2016-01-15. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  8. European Commission- Retrieved 2014-05-25
  9. Scottish government- Retrieved 2014-05-25
  10. 2014-05-25
  11. Washington Post-Retrieved 2014-05-25
  12. WSJ online- Retrieved 2014-05-25
  13. Office of the Press Secretary-Retrieved 2014-05-25
  14. Wikipedia- Retrieved 2014-05-25
  15. The Heritage Foundation- Retrieved 2014-05-25
  16. Yahoo News- Retrieved 2014-05-25
  17. IU Bloomington Newsroom- Retrieved 2014-05-25
  18. Google books; title- Retrieved 2014-05-25
  19. Google books; p.18- Retrieved 2014-05-25
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