can·did | \ˈkan-dəd \

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

This isn't the first time that Justin has been pretty candid about their romance on social media. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Justin Bieber Posted and Deleted Instagrams of Hailey Baldwin in a Hot Tub," 14 July 2018 Justin Bieber confirmed his engagement to Hailey Baldwin in a lengthy and candid Instagram post Monday night. Bethonie Butler,, "Why it's surprising Justin Bieber confirmed his engagement to Hailey Baldwin," 10 July 2018 Museum visitors will also be treated to candid and fun images of Sly Stone, the Jackson 5, Minnie Riperton, Donna Summer and Chaka Khan, among others. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Grammy Museum Spotlights Photographer Bruce Talamon in New Soul, R&B and Funk Exhibit," 29 June 2018 The conversations from across the pond during Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women International Summit in London have been candid and, in some cases, alarming. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: More From MPW London, Boz Leaves Uber," 12 June 2018 Xinhua, China’s official news agency, described the talks as candid and constructive. The Economist, "Trade talks expose a chasm between China and America," 5 May 2018 And this deeply thoughtful and candid narrative reveals that choice to be not a negative at all, but an affirmation of Heti’s freedom as an individual, a romantic partner, an artist and a woman. Polly Rosenwaike, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Motherhood,’ by Sheila Heti," 4 May 2018 The conversation on the 10th will be candid and direct. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "MSU's Engler is set for a candid conversation at May 10 Free Press breakfast event," 21 Apr. 2018 But one relationship Nicks has openly been candid about is that with Klonopin, a tranquilizer prescribed to her by a psychiatrist to help calm her nerves after being addicted to cocaine for about 10 years. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Stevie Nicks survived abusive relationship with former bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, crippling drug addiction, book claims," 6 July 2018

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

3 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for candid

The first known use of candid was in 1606

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More Definitions for candid



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 \

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

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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