anecdotal

adjective
an·​ec·​dot·​al | \ ˌa-nik-ˈdō-tᵊl How to pronounce anecdotal (audio) \

Definition of anecdotal

1 : based on or consisting of reports or observations of usually unscientific observers anecdotal evidence health benefits that may be more anecdotal than factual
2a : of, relating to, or consisting of anecdotes an anecdotal biography
b : given to or skilled in telling anecdotes : anecdotic sense 2 my anecdotal uncle
3 : of, relating to, or being the depiction of a scene suggesting a story anecdotal details

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Other Words from anecdotal

anecdotally \ -​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce anecdotally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of anecdotal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The anecdotal findings of his focus groups suggest that adoptees report being misdiagnosed, having their symptoms misinterpreted (as Nanci experienced), and enduring invasive tests that could have been ruled out with complete family medical records. Fiona Tapp, SELF, "What It’s Like to Fill in the Gaps in Your Health History When You’re Adopted," 18 Jan. 2019 China last week reported that its gross domestic product last year advanced at its slowest pace since 1990, and anecdotal evidence abounds that its economy has hit a rough patch. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Caterpillar’s Stumble Was No Chinese Puzzle," 28 Jan. 2019 Apple’s keyboard woes have been well-documented, if anecdotal; The Outline was a vocal critic as early as last October. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Apple Will Fix Your Messed Up MacBook Pro Keyboard for Free," 22 June 2018 That followed anecdotal reports from high schools suggesting vaping has exploded on campuses across the country. Julia Belluz, Vox, "$1.3 million: the average bonus Juul employees get after a deal with a cigarette maker," 20 Dec. 2018 Having facts, versus anecdotal evidence, is important to creating purposeful design solutions. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The future of urban mobility will be shaped by these six issues," 18 Dec. 2018 Key indicators used for determining the cause and origin of a fire—most important, if arson occurred—were based on anecdotal evidence, none having been scientifically validated up until this point. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The 1991 Firestorm That Changed Everything We Thought We Knew About Arson," 8 Nov. 2018 However, anecdotal evidence suggests that criminals have been taking notice, too. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "3D-printed (and CNC-milled) guns: Nine questions you were too afraid to ask," 5 Aug. 2018 Most information regarding expansion of indications is anecdotal. WSJ, "Should the Feds Join the Trend to Legalize Pot?," 8 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anecdotal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of anecdotal

1747, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for anecdotal

see anecdote

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Last Updated

25 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for anecdotal

The first known use of anecdotal was in 1747

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with anecdotal

Spanish Central: Translation of anecdotal

Nglish: Translation of anecdotal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anecdotal for Arabic Speakers

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