Definition of confidant
- He is a trusted confidant of the president.
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He is a trusted confidant of the president.
she's my confidant; I tell her everything without reservation
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confidant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
If you find yourself unsure whether you should choose confident or confidant don’t feel bad; confidant comes to English from the French word confident, and when the word first entered our language it was often spelled that way, rather than as confidant. The difference is quite simple: confidant is a noun (meaning "a person in whom you confide things"), and confident is an adjective (defined as “having confidence”). You may well be confident in your confidant, but you would not be confidant in your confident. Although this distinction has not always been observed by writers, confidante is generally used for a female confidant. The word confidant is more frequently used to describe a man, but it may be applied to either gender.
If you're confident of the trustworthiness of your confidants, you're inadvertently aware of the origins of the word confidant. It comes from the French noun confident, which goes back to the Italian adjective confidente, meaning "confident" or "trustworthy" and to the Latin verb confidere, meaning "to confide"—the root of which is fidere, meaning "to trust." Other descendants of confidere in English include confide, confidence,and confident, as well as confidential (which was formed from confidence).
First Known Use: 1646See Words from the same year
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having a quality expressive of sadness
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