Definition of fidelity
2 : the degree to which an electronic device (as a record player, radio, or television) accurately reproduces its effect (as sound or picture)
fidelity was our Word of the Day on 05/10/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of fidelity in a sentence
Yet as Reardon emphasizes early on, fidelity to facts was never the point. The same dinner with friends could appear over and over in Fisher's published work, rejiggered each time to make a different point. —Laura Shapiro, New York Times Book Review, 12 Dec. 2004
It is a world familiar to all children, and it is this fidelity to child life that gives resonance to Hoffmann's tale and makes it an extraordinary work of art. —Maurice Sendak, Caldecott & Co., 1988
Chaucer's patient Griselda proved her fidelity to her husband by resisting the prodigious reasons he gave her for being unfaithful. —B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity, 1971
music with much higher fidelity than on cassettes
they have never wavered in their fidelity to the cause of freedom
Did You Know?
You can have faith in "fidelity," which has existed in English since the 15th century; its etymological path winds back through Middle English and Middle French, eventually arriving at the Latin verb fidere, meaning "to trust." "Fidere" is also an ancestor of other English words associated with trust or faith, such as "fiduciary" (which means "of, relating to, or involving a confidence or trust" and is often used in the context of a monetary trust) and "confide" (meaning "to trust" or "to show trust by imparting secrets"). Nowadays "fidelity" is often used in reference to recording and broadcast devices, conveying the idea that a broadcast or recording is "faithful" to the live sound or picture that it reproduces.
Origin and Etymology of fidelity
Middle English fidelite, from Medieval French & Latin; Medieval French fidelité, from Latin fidelitat-, fidelitas, from fidelis faithful, from fides faith, from fidere to trust — more at bide
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of fidelity
FIDELITY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of fidelity for English Language Learners
: the quality of being faithful to your husband, wife, or sexual partner
: the quality of being faithful or loyal to a country, organization, etc.
: the degree to which something matches or copies something else
FIDELITY Defined for Kids
Word Root of fidelity
The Latin word fidēs, meaning “faith,” gives us the root fid. Words from the Latin fidēs have something to with being faithful. Fidelity is faith or loyalty. To confide in someone is to show trust in the person by telling her or him a secret. Someone who is confident has faith that he or she will do something correctly and successfully.
Legal Definition of fidelity
: the quality or state of being faithful or loyal; especially : loyalty to one's spouse in refraining from adultery and sometimes in submitting to a spouse's reasonable sexual desires
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