early 15c., "protection, care, custody," from Anglo-French tuycioun (13c.), Old French tuicion "guardianship," from Latin tuitionem (nominative tuitio) "a looking after, a caring for, watching over, protection, guardianship," from tuitus, past participle of tueri "to look after" (see tutor (n.)). Meaning "action or business of teaching pupils" is recorded from 1580s. The meaning "money paid for instruction" (1828) probably is short for tuition fees, in which tuition refers to the act of teaching and instruction (a sense attested from 1580s).
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