fidelity

noun
fi·​del·​i·​ty | \ fə-ˈde-lə-tē, fī-\
plural fidelities

Definition of fidelity

1a : the quality or state of being faithful his fidelity to his wife
b : accuracy in details : exactness The movie's director insisted on total fidelity to the book.
2 : the degree to which an electronic device (such as a record player, radio, or television) accurately reproduces its effect (such as sound or picture)

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Choose the Right Synonym for fidelity

fidelity, allegiance, fealty, loyalty, devotion, piety mean faithfulness to something to which one is bound by pledge or duty. fidelity implies strict and continuing faithfulness to an obligation, trust, or duty. marital fidelity allegiance suggests an adherence like that of citizens to their country. pledging allegiance fealty implies a fidelity acknowledged by the individual and as compelling as a sworn vow. fealty to the truth loyalty implies a faithfulness that is steadfast in the face of any temptation to renounce, desert, or betray. valued the loyalty of his friends devotion stresses zeal and service amounting to self-dedication. a painter's devotion to her art piety stresses fidelity to obligations regarded as natural and fundamental. filial piety

Have a Little Faith in Fidelity

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.

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
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Recent Examples on the Web

The recordings offer modest fidelity—monophonic sound recorded on lacquer discs, some off-mic solos—but offer exciting listening. John Edward Hasse, WSJ, "The Concert That Changed Music History," 24 Dec. 2018 But while vinyl has been hailed as a high-fidelity format for serious audiophiles, cassette tapes are, well, hissy brown spaghetti packed in a plastic card. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Cassette Tapes Are Back, Don't You Dare Call Them Obsolete," 12 Nov. 2018 The result is a clear, accurate, high resolution fidelity. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Audio Technica announces its first-ever true wireless earbuds," 29 Aug. 2018 In Hoffman’s view, evolution has shaped our brains to operate in much the same way, as a graphical interface that doesn’t reproduce the world with any sort of fidelity. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 Infidelity is slightly more common in women ages 19–29 than men in that age range, though there's no significant difference in male and female rates of fidelity until after their forties. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "The "Wonderful Weirdness" of Female Sexuality," 23 Oct. 2018 While the former is rated highly for its sound fidelity and noise cancellation, the QuietComfort line adds the Google Assistant, too. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hands-on with Microsoft's Surface Headphones: tune out the outside world to focus," 3 Oct. 2018 But his most recent recording, a lively, interactive duo effort with Eliza from 2014 called The Moral of the Elephant (Topic), captures his typical mix of soul, erudition, and historical fidelity. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Singer and guitarist Martin Carthy has brought an ecumenical breadth to British folk tradition for nearly six decades," 6 Apr. 2018 The bad: Though fine for casual listening and strong enough to fill a room with music, the Echo still doesn’t sound as good as premium high-fidelity speakers. Cnet.com, The Seattle Times, "Hey, Alexa, which gadgets work the best with you?," 7 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fidelity.' 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 fidelity

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fidelity

Middle English fidelite, borrowed from Middle French fidelité, borrowed from Latin fidēlitāt-, fidēlitās, from fidēlis "faithful, loyal, trustworthy" (from fidē-, stem of fidēs "trust, belief, faith" +-lis, denominal suffix of appurtenance) + -itāt-, -itās -ity

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Statistics for fidelity

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for fidelity

The first known use of fidelity was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for fidelity

fidelity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fidelity

: 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

noun
fi·​del·​i·​ty | \ fə-ˈde-lə-tē, fī-\

Kids Definition of fidelity

1 : loyalty They swore fidelity to the king.
2 : accuracy I described the scene with fidelity.

fidelity

noun
fi·​del·​i·​ty | \ fə-ˈde-lə-tē, fī- \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on fidelity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fidelity

Spanish Central: Translation of fidelity

Nglish: Translation of fidelity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fidelity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fidelity

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