anecdote was our Word of the Day on 02/10/2009. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of anecdote in a Sentence
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Any competent science reporter knows anecdotes are not data and that one dramatic story proves nothing. —Editor & Publisher, 4 Nov. 2002
- 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
He told us all sorts of humorous anecdotes about his childhood.
told us once again that anecdote about the dog and the bike
Recent Examples of anecdote from the Web
An anecdote told by a Honda employee from Alabama last week illustrates how women in manufacturing are making a difference.
In addition to quoting The Federalist and Abraham Lincoln in his Tuesday afternoon speech about his decision not to run for reelection in 2018, Arizona's Sen. Jeff Flake turned to an anecdote from President Theodore Roosevelt.
One other thing … there’s a lovely anecdote in this article about CEO Smith being criticized for being too nice.
The novel also includes an anecdote in which Holmes' friend, Daisy Ramirez, dupes an IndyStar reporter.
But there are plenty of real-life anecdotes as well.
This anecdote from David Yaffe’s Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell is rare for being sweet and funny, not sad or rancorous.
There are times when these anecdotes—being underdressed at Buckingham Palace, getting caught in your underwear on Air Force One, getting a condolence call from the president after your cat dies—seem like small beer.
There was also an illuminating anecdote from Einstein’s later years at Princeton.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anecdote.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Greek Smear Job at the Root of anecdote
The Byzantine official Procopius wrote three historical works in Greek. In the first two, he dealt with wars and public works projects, but the third was something of a departure from this kind of history. Referred to as "Anekdota," from the Greek a- meaning "not," and ekdidonai, meaning "to publish," it contained bitter attacks on the emperor Justinian, his wife, and other notables of contemporary Constantinople. Understandably, it was not published until after its writer's death. English speakers originally used an anglicized version of the book's name for similar secret or unpublished histories or biographies, and by the 17th century, the meaning of anecdote had been broadened to cover any interesting or amusing personal tale.
ANECDOTE Defined for English Language Learners
ANECDOTE Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up anecdote? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).