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 In each sit-down, the pro football player has candid conversations with his guests about life, love, and legacy — not only in terms of their careers but also as parents. Brande Victorian, Essence, "Cam Newton On Being A Step-Dad & Bringing His Kids On Set With Him: "I Just Want Them To Know Love'," 4 May 2021 Now, in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actress got candid about how their split has affected her Hollywood career. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie Reveals the "Truth" of How Her Divorce from Brad Pitt Impacted Her Career," 21 Apr. 2021 Candace Cameron Bure got extremely candid about what her family life has been like during the pandemic in a new interview for Yahoo! Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "Candace Cameron Bure Gets Candid About How Her Marriage Was Tested During the Pandemic," 29 Mar. 2021 Retreat Black love is the underlying theme of this new unscripted series in which celebrities on a week-long vacation open up in candid conversations about the challenges and triumphs that are part of their lives in the spotlight. Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Monday: ‘Running Wild With Bear Grylls’," 28 Mar. 2021 Garner recently got candid about how her body's transformed since giving birth to her kids, Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel. Paulina Jayne Isaac, Glamour, "Jennifer Garner Is Embracing How Her Body’s Changed Since Having Kids," 10 Mar. 2021 The conversation is mostly jokes and banter between the real-life friends, but Harry also got surprisingly candid throughout, offering a glimpse into the circumstances that led him and Meghan Markle to step back (not away) from the Royal Family. Ineye Komonibo,, "Prince Harry Is More Comfortable With The Crown Than Royal Family Gossip," 26 Feb. 2021 In a November interview with Talib Kweli, rapper DMX was searingly candid about his drug use and the trauma that drove it. Los Angeles Times, "DMX rapped, and lived, with a ferocity unmatched in the annals of hip-hop," 9 Apr. 2021 The influencer has since amassed a following of over 1 million users on TikTok and 115,000 on Instagram by posting realistic clothing hauls and getting candid about her mental health on both good days and bad. Hanna Flanagan,, "TikTok Star Remi Bader Teams with Aerie to Challenge Unrealistic Beauty Standards on Social Media," 7 Apr. 2021

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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Candid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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 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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