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 changes weren’t easy, and Drew is candid in describing failures and anxieties, not just successes, along the way. Los Angeles Times, "Review: @museummammy knows a thing or two about art. Listen up," 19 June 2020 Any real discussion of today’s health care system would have to have candid perspective from three of the most insightful physician-scientists on the planet—Dr. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Join us at Brainstorm Health 2020," 18 June 2020 Costa has been candid about her weight loss journey, previously saying that her weight trouble began after a car accident left her bedbound. Fox News, "Woman has 'whole trash bag' of loose skin removed following extreme weight loss," 16 June 2020 The artist has been candid about her displeasure over the sale of her early music catalog to music executive Scooter Braun, and her ongoing struggle with her former music label -- exhibiting the struggles young women face in the recording industry. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Taylor Swift says Confederate monuments in Tennessee make her sick," 13 June 2020 Niecy Nash is getting candid about struggling with what to do and how to feel in the midst of ongoing George Floyd protests. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Niecy Nash opens up about George Floyd, says police 'pulled a taser' on her son in a traffic stop," 10 June 2020 From opposite coasts, the pair gathered over Zoom for a candid discussion. David Canfield,, "A frank conversation about YA literature, police brutality, and the nuances of Black storytelling," 9 June 2020 Unflinchingly candid, this new series set in London grabs you right away with a horrifying night in the life of its heroine, a pink-haired writer and indefatigable party girl named Arabella. Jeanne Jakle,, "‘Perry Mason,’ ‘Queer Eye’ and 10 more new and returning TV shows to watch this summer," 4 June 2020 In a candid conversation, the coach talked about returning to workouts following the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, his top memories from Alabama, the current racial situation in the country and other topics. Ben Thomas |, al, "Daphne FB coach Kenny King talks Tide memories, racial injustice and coaching in a pandemic," 8 June 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

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Candid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 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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