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noun an·ec·dote \ˈa-nik-ˌdōt\

Simple Definition of anecdote

  • : a short story about an interesting or funny event or occurrence

Full Definition of anecdote

plural anecdotes also an·ec·dota play \ˌa-nik-ˈdō-tə\

  1. :  a usually short narrative of an interesting, amusing, or biographical incident

Examples of anecdote

  1. Like many Jesuits who then ate most of their meals in refectories, McKenzie was a master raconteur with endless anecdotes, stories, and one-liners. —Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, Commonweal, 11 Sept. 2009

  2. If Antony had won, of course, the story would have been very different. Indeed, despite the dominance of the Augustan version of events, a few hostile anecdotes about the young Octavian probably offer a glimpse of what Antony's side was saying. —Mary Beard, New York Review of Books, 12 Feb. 2009

  3. Alexander's use of the family's private papers—the Waughs were prolific writers of letters and diaries as well as books—not only adds richly to the entertainment value of his account but also serves to illuminate just how tangled are the threads of filial love, hurt, awe, and competitiveness that run through their work. Although he ranges freely over two centuries of family anecdotes, amusing and appalling by turn, the dominant figure here is, as it should be, Evelyn. —Evelyn Toynton, Harper's, August 2007

  4. Any competent science reporter knows anecdotes are not data and that one dramatic story proves nothing. —Editor & Publisher, 4 Nov. 2002

  5. Deeply convinced of her own unattractiveness, frequently lonely and unimaginably needy, Joplin was a person who lived all over the page. It is impossible to read about her and not crave more anecdotes and personal details of such a wanton, tragic life. —Kim France, New York Times Book Review, 2 May 1999

  6. He told us all sorts of humorous anecdotes about his childhood.

  7. <told us once again that anecdote about the dog and the bike>

Origin of anecdote

French, from Greek anekdota unpublished items, from neuter plural of anekdotos unpublished, from a- + ekdidonai to publish, from ex out + didonai to give — more at ex-, date

First Known Use: circa 1721

ANECDOTE Defined for Kids


noun an·ec·dote \ˈa-nik-ˌdōt\

Definition of anecdote

  1. :  a short story about something interesting or funny in a person's life

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February 11, 2016

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