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 The black-and-white photo that allegedly depicts five Black ER doctors working together to save a Klansman is not candid – it’s an ad. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Photo of all-Black ER staff treating Klan member is an ad," 11 July 2020 Jada Pinkett Smith just had the red table turned on her in a new candid conversation with her husband of 23 years, Will Smith. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "Will and Jada Pinkett Smith Say They Broke Up Before Her Relationship With August Alsina," 10 July 2020 During a new episode of Red Table Talk, the Smiths sat down for a candid conversation to address the swirling rumors that Jada and singer August Alsina were once in a relationship and Will gave them his blessing. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Jada Pinkett Smith Confirms Past Relationship With August Alsina Happened While Separated From Will Smith," 10 July 2020 Theron has been candid about believing that Flux's failure could have easily put an end to this part of her career before it really even got started. Derek Lawrence,, "With The Old Guard, Charlize Theron continues her reign as Hollywood’s top action star," 13 July 2020 This is not the first time that the singer has been candid about finding strength in difficult times. Maria Pasquini,, "Christina Perri Announces She's Expecting Her Second Child 6 Months After Suffering Miscarriage," 11 July 2020 He’s been called the n-word, been forced to explain why all lives don’t evidently matter, and has been encouraging candid conversations about race in his classroom. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "The price for publicly supporting President Trump is much more expensive than a can of Goya beans," 11 July 2020 My candid opinion is that Trump’s goal was to delay the public from seeing and reading his bank records and tax returns until after the election. Willie Brown,, "Willie Brown: Trump is down, but not yet out," 11 July 2020 When asked how long his staff could continue at this pace, Boom was candid about their endurance. Alison Medley, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Methodist CEO: 'July 4th may have reloaded the gun,' school reopenings at risk," 9 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for candid

Time Traveler

The first known use of candid was in 1606

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Statistics for candid

Last Updated

30 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Candid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for candid


How to pronounce candid (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on candid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for candid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with candid

Spanish Central: Translation of candid

Nglish: Translation of candid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of candid for Arabic Speakers

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