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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web This documentary starring Tarana Burke, Latham Thomas, Tina Farris and many others takes a raw and candid approach to discussing mothers. Lynnette Nicholas, Essence, 6 May 2022 Opening up in her most candid and revealing interview in years, Megan Fox speaks to Glamour U.K. Emily Maddick, Glamour, 28 Apr. 2022 Though Williams and her daughter are close as can be, the star has been candid and vulnerable about her struggles to connect with her daughter in the immediate aftermath of a harrowing pregnancy experience. Hattie Lindert,, 25 Apr. 2022 It is described as candid and intimate story of a talented but dysfunctional band struggling to survive the rapidly changing landscape of independent music in the early 2000s. Joe Otterson, Variety, 21 Apr. 2022 Consani launched her TikTok during quarantine in 2020, and has quickly amassed a following for her candid, unfiltered, and off-the-cuff videos—all defining qualities of Gen-Z humor on the app. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 19 Apr. 2022 With his candid but intriguing portrayals of the northeast, the 38-year-old Shuang belongs to a small cohort of writers in the region who emerged from decades of breathless growth feeling more force-fed than nourished. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2022 The interview was fun of course, but Apatow was also thoughtful, candid and even deep. From Jake Tapper's Book Club, CNN, 10 Apr. 2022 Even as the hype has faded and celebs have decamped, Clubhouse continues to convene dialogs that are everything Twitter exchanges are not: both substantial and tender, trusting and challenging, candid and incorporative. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 31 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Candid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for candid


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on candid

Nglish: Translation of candid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of candid for Arabic Speakers


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