noun an·ec·dote \ ˈa-nik-ˌdōt \
|Updated on: 17 Jul 2018

Definition of anecdote

plural anecdotes also anecdota play \ˌa-nik-ˈdō-tə\
: a usually short narrative of an interesting, amusing, or biographical incident

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Examples of anecdote in a Sentence

  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 SteinfelsCommonweal11 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 BeardNew York Review of Books12 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 ToyntonHarper'sAugust 2007
  4. Any competent science reporter knows anecdotes are not data and that one dramatic story proves nothing. Editor & Publisher4 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 FranceNew York Times Book Review2 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

Recent Examples of anecdote from the Web

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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.

Origin and Etymology 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

anecdote Synonyms

ANECDOTE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of anecdote for English Language Learners

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

ANECDOTE Defined for Kids


noun an·ec·dote \ ˈa-nik-ˌdōt \

Definition of anecdote for Students

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

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