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anecdote

[an-ik-doht] /ˈæn ɪkˌdoʊt/
noun, plural anecdotes or for 2, anecdota [an-ik-doh-tuh] /ˌæn ɪkˈdoʊ tə/ (Show IPA)
1.
a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature.
2.
a short, obscure historical or biographical account.
Origin of anecdote
1670-1680
1670-80; < New Latin anecdota or French anecdotes < Late Greek, Greek anékdota things unpublished (referring especially to Procopius' unpublished memoirs of Justinian and Theodora), neuter plural of anékdotos, equivalent to an- an-1 + ékdotos given out, verbal adjective of ekdidónai to give out, publish (ek- ec- + didónai to give)
Can be confused
anecdote, antedate, antidote.
Synonyms
story, yarn, reminiscence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for anecdotes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He hated to have to explain the points of his anecdotes, as, indeed, what story-teller does not?

  • These anecdotes have been related as proof that Dunmore desired Lewis beaten.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare Alexander Scott Withers
  • Your anecdotes from Ad-Damiry and your quotations from Montaigne shall not help you.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • Do you think the porter and the cook have no anecdotes, no experiences, no wonders for you?

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • His courtesy, his smartness, his anecdotes, his reminiscences were all Boredom.

    Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I. Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for anecdotes

anecdote

/ˈænɪkˌdəʊt/
noun
1.
a short usually amusing account of an incident, esp a personal or biographical one
Derived Forms
anecdotic, adjective
anecdotalist, anecdotist, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin anecdota unpublished items, from Greek anekdotos unpublished, from an- + ekdotos published, from ekdidonai, from ek- out + didonai to give
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for anecdotes

anecdote

n.

1670s, "secret or private stories," from French anecdote (17c.) or directly from Greek anekdota "things unpublished," neuter plural of anekdotos, from an- "not" (see an-) + ekdotos "published," from ek- "out" + didonai "to give" (see date (n.1)).

Procopius' 6c. Anecdota, unpublished memoirs of Emperor Justinian full of court gossip, gave the word a sense of "revelation of secrets," which decayed in English to "brief, amusing stories" (1761).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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