candid

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Taken by royal photographer Matt Porteous, the Cambridges posed for the fun candid, for which they were all dressed casually, sitting on a tree outside. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince George Wears Pants Instead of Shorts for the Royal Christmas Card," 15 Dec. 2018 Some are candid, but in many the subject acknowledges the photographer and is yet at ease; this takes considerable skill. William Meyers, WSJ, "What to Give: Books About Photography," 15 Nov. 2018 Her posts are candid, motivational, humorous—and anything but monotonous. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Here's How to Do Octavia Spencer's Low-Impact Cardio Workout," 4 Oct. 2018 The public trustees are usually more candid, but those posts remain unfilled. Richardo Alonso-zaldivar And Andrew Taylor, chicagotribune.com, "Medicare will run out of money in 2026, three years earlier than expected, government report says," 5 June 2018 Backstage Secrets is full of candid, and rather intimate, portraits of the models who have participated in the show since its network television broadcast debut in 2001. Evan Real, The Hollywood Reporter, "Victoria's Secret Angels Defend Fashion Show's Place in #MeToo Era," 1 June 2018 Getty ImagesSamir Hussein This evening, Kensington Palace decided to bless us with a candid portrait of all of your favorite royals ahead of Prince Charles' 70th birthday tomorrow. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Why the Queen Wasn't in Prince Charles' 70th Birthday Royal Family Photo," 13 Nov. 2018 Within 12 hours of posting, nearly 6,000 people responded to Tori's candid story, thanking her for sharing the reality of motherhood. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Tori Roloff Risks Getting Mommy-Shamed by Sharing Photo of Jackson Covered in Poop," 30 July 2018 Considering Hollywood's ongoing inclusion issues, speaking Korean is both a subtle and candid way to bring light to that lack of diversity. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "The Importance of Sandra Oh Thanking Her Parents in Korean at the Golden Globes 2019," 7 Jan. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about candid

Statistics for candid

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for candid

The first known use of candid was in 1606

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for candid

candid

adjective

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

candid

adjective
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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on candid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with candid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for candid

Spanish Central: Translation of candid

Nglish: Translation of candid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of candid for Arabic Speakers

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!