con·​fi·​dant ˈkän-fə-ˌdänt How to pronounce confidant (audio)
 also  -ˌdant,
: one to whom secrets are entrusted
especially : intimate
He is a trusted confidant of the president.

Did you know?

If you're confident of the trustworthiness of your confidants, you're tuned into the origins of the word confidant. The word comes, via French, from the Italian confidente, meaning "trusting, having trust in," from Latin confīdere, meaning "to put one’s trust in, have confidence in.” Other descendants of confīdere in English include confide, confidence, confident, and confidential, all of which ultimately have Latin fīdere, meaning "to trust (in), rely (on)," as their root. Confidant (and its variant confidante, used especially of a woman) and confident are often confused, a topic about which we have plenty to say.

Did you know?

Is it confident or confidant? (Or is it confidante?)

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.

Examples of confidant in a Sentence

He is a trusted confidant of the president. she's my confidant; I tell her everything without reservation
Recent Examples on the Web What happened next would become the subject of much discussion among confidants of the two men. Benjamin Mullin, New York Times, 15 Nov. 2023 Cohen is a former Trump Organization executive who was for years among Trump's closest confidants. Graham Kates, CBS News, 25 Oct. 2023 The wife and mother of two befriends Dr. Evans and later Zott, becoming a confidant through some of her most difficult life transitions. Brande Victorian, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Oct. 2023 After starting out as a ranch hand, Rip worked his way up to be the Dutton Ranch’s foreman and John's confidant. Emily J. Shiffer, Peoplemag, 15 Sep. 2023 Blinken, a confidant of Biden for more than two decades, has been perhaps the most visible salesman for the Administration’s strategy and a key conduit to European allies. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 9 Oct. 2023 Giuliani criticized the suit and Costello, who has been a confidant and supporter of the former mayor for decades, in a statement to CBS News. Graham Kates, CBS News, 18 Sep. 2023 Madigan is charged in the racketeering case with co-defendant Michael McClain, a longtime Madigan confidant. Ray Long, Chicago Tribune, 31 Aug. 2023 With new perspective and a fresh sense of anger, Reggie sets out to take revenge on Doug and his confidants come with him on a humorous Homeric odyssey, tussling with a hungry eagle, running afoul of animal control and munching some seriously funky mushrooms. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 18 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'confidant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French confident, borrowed from Italian confidente, noun derivative of confidente "trusting, having trust in," borrowed from Latin confīdent-, confīdens, present participle of confīdere "to put one's trust in, have confidence in" — more at confide

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of confidant was in 1646


Dictionary Entries Near confidant

Cite this Entry

“Confidant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​fi·​dant ˈkän-fə-ˌdant How to pronounce confidant (audio)
: a person to whom secrets are entrusted : a close friend

More from Merriam-Webster on confidant

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