Back-formation from mentor. Although mentor comes from Ancient Greek Μέντωρ (Méntōr), the name of a mythological figure, it was reanalyzed as terminating in the Latinate suffix -tor (“doer”), leading to a form using the corresponding suffix -ee (“one who has an action done upon them”). Attested at least to 1958.
mentee (plural mentees)
- a person who is being mentored
- The mentee occasionally teaches the class, regularly confers with students, conducts optional special study sessions, and relieves the professor of most clerical classroom functions. — Educating Youth for Economic Competence, volume 15, 1958