Tuition: Definition of

Definition of the word: Tuition

American English…/american_english

  • a sum of money charged for teaching or instruction by a school, college, or university:

British English…/english

  • instruction, esp that received in a small group or individually

The above is another word that has created confusion and discussion, prompting this posting.

I have always thought that the word meant the “teaching process”, as per the definition above, under British English.    But when using the word “Tuition” about a persons education, and being told, no it was free, I was confused by the answer until it was explained to me that the word “Tuition” meant the cost of the education.

I then said; “but Tuition Fees, are the cost of the Tuition”.

But no, apparently, using the words “Tuition Fees” is like doubling up on the words as Tuition means fees, and so does Fees, therefore only the one word “Tuition” is needed to say “Fees”.

So, to try to win the word war, I asked what “Private Tuition” was.  A blank stare followed, didn’t know…  Not a common term.

So a quick Google, to prove my point:

  • We asked tutors and parents in the UK to share their view on the reasons why parents seek out extra private tuition for their children.
  • Private tuition has ceased to be just the preserve of the white middle classes

and more…

But I wasn’t winning, so I referred to translating to French and then back to English…

English: Tuition
French: Cours

English: Tuition fees
French: Frais de scolarité

English: Tuition fee payment
French: Paiement des frais de scolarité

This seemed to confirm that the ENGLISH language wins against the AMERICAN language 😉

But then, I remembered my old Latin tuition in school, and the origin of many words…

Word Origin

From Latin tuitiō or  tuitiōnis

tuitiō, tuitiōnis  = a taking care of, keeping, guarding, preserving, defense, protection, preservation

How can the word Tuition actually mean the cost of Education ?  

Laziness ? Just drop the word fees from Tuition Fees, and you get the single word Tuition, and a load of confusion for me 🙂


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