can·​did | \ ˈkan-dəd How to pronounce candid (audio) \

Definition of candid

1a : marked by honest sincere expression a candid discussion
b : disposed to criticize severely : blunt candid critics
c : indicating or suggesting sincere honesty and absence of deception her candid face
2 : free from bias, prejudice, or malice : fair a candid observer
3 : relating to or being photography of subjects acting naturally or spontaneously without being posed candid photos of the family at play
4 : white candid flames

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Other Words from candid

candidly adverb
candidness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for candid

frank, candid, open, plain mean showing willingness to tell what one feels or thinks. frank stresses lack of shyness or secretiveness or of evasiveness from considerations of tact or expedience. frank discussions candid suggests expression marked by sincerity and honesty especially in offering unwelcome criticism or opinion. a candid appraisal open implies frankness but suggests more indiscretion than frank and less earnestness than candid. open in saying what they think plain suggests outspokenness and freedom from affectation or subtlety in expression. plain talk

The Many Shades of Candid

It is interesting that candid, which has the original meaning in English of “white,” should have so many colors of meaning. The word comes from the French candide, which is from the Latin candidus (“bright, white”). Candid is not often used to mean “white” these days, and has shed another of its older meanings, “clear, pure.” Many of its current meanings are concerned with forms of honesty and forthrightness. It may refer to the indication or suggestion of sincere honesty (“her candid eyes”), or to something being marked by honest expression (“a candid talk”). However, it also carries the meaning of bluntness (or “disposed to criticize severely”), as well as “free from bias, prejudice, or malice.” The most recent sense it has taken on is in the vocabulary of photography: “relating to or being photography of subjects acting naturally or spontaneously without being posed.”

Examples of candid in a Sentence

If Bart Knaggs had been totally candid, he would have told me that when his prospective father-in-law, who was a doctor, had heard that the cancer had moved into my lungs, he said to Bart, "Well, your friend is dead." — Lance Armstrong, It's Not About the Bike, (2000) 2001 To be candid, I have wondered whether it is fair to write about a man for whom I cannot help but feel a real distaste. — Jill Lepore, Journal of American History, June 2001 There are candid … anecdotes of open-heart surgery. — Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review, 30 Sept. 1990 He was quite candid about his past. She gave us her candid opinion on the matter.
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Recent Examples on the Web Another part of the book compiles candid photos of Prince. Ross Raihala, Twin Cities, "Prince’s memoir ‘The Beautiful Ones’ is ‘warm, funny, well observed, eloquent and surprisingly focused’," 25 Oct. 2019 For example, Black employees wore clothing and styles that reflected Black culture; employees engaged in candid and direct conversations with customers and each other about race, and there were many more people of color in management positions. oregonlive, "Black employee sues Apple for $750k, claims his complaints about racist Oregon customers resulted in his firing," 22 Oct. 2019 The celebration took place at the Maison Montegut in New Orleans, and Trace shared a candid photo that shows Blake officiating their romantic ceremony. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice’ Coach Blake Shelton Just Officiated Country Star Trace Adkins’ Wedding," 14 Oct. 2019 The effect is to impair CPC’s ability to engage in candid and frank discussions with its counsel. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "Lawyer for citizen panel on police reforms accused Seattle Mayor Durkan’s office of ‘potential interference,’ letter shows," 21 Sep. 2019 For instance, in the last few months alone, The Sinner actress has shared several candid photos in which she's barefaced or close to it, and her fans can't get enough. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Jessica Biel Just Shared a Barefaced Selfie, and Fans Are in Awe," 11 Aug. 2019 Collymore reflected on mortality in a candid interview with Kenyan newspaper Business Daily last year, saying cancer had forced him to prioritize at work. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "The chief executive who built up one of the world’s leading mobile money services has died," 1 July 2019 The 49-year-old athlete, whose real name is Vincent Sennen Garcia, has been candid about his mental health struggles in the past, however his condition since being hospitalized amid a battle with depression has been kept mostly private. Georgia Slater,, "Surfer Sunny Garcia Has 'Said a Few Words' Months After Being Hospitalized Amid Depression Battle," 17 Sep. 2019 Smith, who is 2-12 overall and 0-2 this season, was candid, outspoken and hopeful about the trajectory of the program. John Canzano | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith speaks out in a 1-on-1 interview," 11 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'candid.' 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 candid

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for candid

French & Latin; French candide, from Latin candidus bright, white, from candēre to shine, glow; akin to Welsh can white, Sanskrit candati it shines

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Statistics for candid

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for candid

The first known use of candid was in 1606

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More Definitions for candid


How to pronounce candid (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of candid

: expressing opinions and feelings in an honest and sincere way
photography : showing people acting in a natural way because they do not know that they are being photographed


can·​did | \ ˈkan-dəd How to pronounce candid (audio) \

Kids Definition of candid

1 : marked by or showing honesty : frank a candid discussion
2 : relating to photography of people acting naturally without being posed a candid picture

Other Words from candid

candidly adverb She spoke candidly about her mistakes.

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More from Merriam-Webster on candid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for candid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with candid

Spanish Central: Translation of candid

Nglish: Translation of candid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of candid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on candid

What made you want to look up candid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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