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anecdote

[an-ik-doht]
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noun, plural an·ec·dotes or for 2, an·ec·do·ta [an-ik-doh-tuh] /ˌæn ɪkˈdoʊ tə/.
  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.
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Origin of anecdote

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 Late Greek, Greek anékdota things unpublished (referring especially to Procopius' unpublished memoirs of Justinian and Theodora), neuter plural of anékdotos, equivalent to an- an-1 + ékdotos given out, verbal adjective of ekdidónai to give out, publish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 confusedanecdote antedate antidote

Synonyms

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story, yarn, reminiscence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.


British Dictionary definitions for anecdotes

anecdote

noun
  1. a short usually amusing account of an incident, esp a personal or biographical one
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Derived Formsanecdotic, adjectiveanecdotalist or 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C17: from Medieval Latin anecdota unpublished items, from Greek anekdotos unpublished, from an- + ekdotos published, from ekdidonai, from ek- out + didonai to give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

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper