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[noun kan-di-deyt, -dit; verb kan-di-deyt] /noun ˈkæn dɪˌdeɪt, -dɪt; verb ˈkæn dɪˌdeɪt/
a person who seeks an office, honor, etc.:
a candidate for governor.
a person who is selected by others as a contestant for an office, honor, etc.
a person who is deserving of or seems destined for a certain end or fate:
Such a reckless spender is a candidate for the poorhouse.
a student studying for a degree:
Candidates for the B.A. will have to meet certain minimum requirements.
verb (used without object), candidated, candidating.
to become a candidate for service as a new minister of a church; preach before a congregation that is seeking a new minister.
Origin of candidate
First recorded in 1605-15, candidate is from the Latin word candidātus clothed in white (adj.), candidate for office (noun, in reference to the white togas worn by those seeking office). See candid, -ate1
Related forms
[kan-di-duh-see] /ˈkæn dɪ də si/ (Show IPA).
Chiefly British, candidature
[kan-di-duh-cher] /ˈkæn dɪ də tʃər/ (Show IPA),
candidateship, noun
precandidacy, noun
precandidature, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for candidature
Historical Examples
  • A year before his candidature he had been called to the Provincial bar.

  • I had no vision as to the success of his candidature at Newcastle.

    Real Ghost Stories William T. Stead
  • As for your candidature, any man with a spark of generosity in his soul will rally to you because of it.

    The Patrician John Galsworthy
  • The war scare is having an excellent effect on Miltoun's candidature.

    The Patrician John Galsworthy
  • She even gave him excellent advice with reference to his candidature.

  • In comparison with that other matter this affair of the candidature was of course trivial.

    The Prime Minister

    Anthony Trollope
  • I see Ernest has returned to see the result of Leslie Walker's candidature.

  • He had news for them: Flacardoux, editor of Le Calvados, had announced his candidature.

    Bouvard and Pcuchet Gustave Flaubert
  • His candidature was adopted with enthusiasm by the local Conservatives.

    Lord Randolph Churchill Winston Spencer Churchill
  • However, we will leave him and consider the candidature of Mr Smith.

    The Exiles of Faloo Barry Pain
British Dictionary definitions for candidature


/ˈkændɪˌdeɪt; -dɪt/
a person seeking or nominated for election to a position of authority or honour or selection for a job, promotion, etc
a person taking an examination or test
a person or thing regarded as suitable or likely for a particular fate or position: this wine is a candidate for his cellar
Derived Forms
candidacy (ˈkændɪdəsɪ), candidature (ˈkændɪdətʃə) noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin candidātus clothed in white (because in ancient Rome a candidate wore a white toga), from candidus white
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 candidature



c.1600s, from Latin candidatus "one aspiring to office," originally "white-robed," past participle of candidare "to make white or bright," from candidus (see candid). Office-seekers in ancient Rome wore white togas.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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