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 Bergeron showed others how to be candid, get help, and move forward. Matt Porter,, "The next to wear the “C” for Bruins: Patrice Bergeron the A+ choice," 2 Jan. 2021 Rocky also got candid about his skin care routine in the video. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything We Know About Rihanna and A$AP Rocky's Relationship," 1 Dec. 2020 Blinken has learned during the Trump era, said a person closely familiar with his thinking, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid, is the ability of outside groups to have a much greater influence on foreign policy. Anchorage Daily News, "Biden’s nominees have pushed policies that Trump used to fuel his rise," 24 Nov. 2020 His message to Texans in June was candid, direct and pulled no punches. Alison Medley, Chron, "The 10 most fascinating Houstonians I interviewed in 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 Everyone has to sign a commitment to the building’s core values — being kind, present, curious, candid and responsible — as part of their lease. Sam Dean, Los Angeles Times, "This capitalist commune is trying to cure L.A.’s loneliness. Plus there’s free coffee," 17 Dec. 2020 Earlier this week, Meghan Markle shared an incredibly candid and powerful op-ed in the New York Times about her experience with pregnancy loss. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry Leaned on Prince Charles and Prince William for Support After Meghan Markle's Miscarriage," 28 Nov. 2020 In a candid conversation with Stewart for InStyle back in October, DuVall, who wrote the script with Mary Holland (who also co-stars), explained that the script came from a very personal place. Anne Cohen,, "The Trailer For Kristen Stewart & Mackenzie Davis’ Lesbian Christmas Rom-Com Is Finally Here," 10 Nov. 2020 And in a new interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Interstellar actor gives some rare, candid quotes about his family life. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Matthew McConaughey Doesn’t Let His Kids Say These Three Words," 30 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for candid

Time Traveler

The first known use of candid was in 1606

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Statistics for candid

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Candid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on candid

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