: a person who is trying to be elected <a presidential candidate>
: a person who is being considered for a position or honor <a job candidate>
Word History of CANDIDATE
A person campaigning for public office in ancient Rome traditionally wore a toga that had been whitened with chalk when he greeted voters in the Forum. Hence the Latin word for an office seeker came to be candidatus, literally meaning “wearing white”; this word itself comes from the adjective candidus, “white, bright.” In the 1600s the word candidatus was borrowed into English to denote someone aspiring to an office, job, or honor.