can·​di·​date | \ ˈkan-də-ˌdāt How to pronounce candidate (audio) , ˈka-nə-, -dət \

Definition of candidate

1a : one that aspires to or is nominated or qualified for an office, membership, or award a candidate for governor a candidate for "Manager of the Year" the best candidate for the job
b : one likely or suited to undergo or be chosen for something specified a candidate for surgery
2 : a student in the process of meeting final requirements for a degree a PhD candidate

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Roman Fashion Is Responsible for Candidate

When a person running for public office in ancient Rome greeted voters in the Forum, the center of judicial and public business, he wore a toga that had been whitened with chalk. As a result, the Latin word for someone seeking office came to be "candidatus," meaning literally "clothed in white." "Candidatus," in turn, comes from the adjective candidus, meaning "white." "Candidatus" was adopted into English as "candidate" at the beginning of the 17th century.

Examples of candidate in a Sentence

Candidates can apply in person or send a resume. a Ph.D. candidate in linguistics The program has several doctoral candidates.
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Recent Examples on the Web In Southeast Polk, a candidate hosted an event for parents to get their mask mandate exemption forms notarized. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 13 Oct. 2021 But across the 57 Freeway in a St. Joseph’s Hospital bed sat Joyner, the Angels’ rookie-of-the-year candidate who had a staph infection in his right shin and would watch the game on a 19-inch TV. Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2021 Rarely do directors lose their seats in such votes, particularly when opponents aren’t pushing an alternate candidate; still, the percentage of negative vote can signal shareholder discontent. Sharon Terlep, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 But as the results stand, Sadr’s bloc will be able to take a leading role in the political horse-trading to find a compromise candidate and set the political agenda for the next four years., 12 Oct. 2021 In Cuyahoga County, candidate numbers were on a steady decline between 2001 and 2017. Hannah Drown, cleveland, 12 Oct. 2021 The Arizona Golf Hall of Fame Committee announced four new inductees: John Gunby, Tina Tombs and Mark Woodward, as well as one Legacy candidate by the Selectors Committee, the Desert Mashie Golf Club. Todd Kelly, The Arizona Republic, 12 Oct. 2021 According to the survey, 67.4% of resume lies are eventually detected, but only 23.4% of those falsehoods result in an employer refusing a candidate. William Thornton |, al, 12 Oct. 2021 In Georgia, Trump's handpicked candidate Herschel Walker entered the race toward the end of the third quarter, but managed to start out strong with a $3.7 million haul for his first few weeks in the race. Rick Klein, ABC News, 12 Oct. 2021

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

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for candidate

Latin candidatus, from candidatus clothed in white, from candidus white; from the white toga worn by candidates for office in ancient Rome

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The first known use of candidate was in 1600

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Candidate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for candidate



English Language Learners Definition of candidate

: a person who is trying to be elected
: a person who is being considered for a job, position, award, etc.
: a person who meets all the requirements for something


can·​di·​date | \ ˈkan-də-ˌdāt How to pronounce candidate (audio) \

Kids Definition of candidate

1 : a person who is trying to be elected a presidential candidate
2 : a person who is being considered for a position or honor a job candidate

More from Merriam-Webster on candidate

Nglish: Translation of candidate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of candidate for Arabic Speakers


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