[ 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), can·di·dat·ed, can·di·dat·ing.

to become a candidate for service as a new minister of a church; preach before a congregation that is seeking a new minister.

Nearby words

  1. candicidin,
  2. candid,
  3. candid camera,
  4. candida,
  5. candidacy,
  6. candidate species,
  7. candide,
  8. candidemia,
  9. candidiasis,
  10. candidly

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 formscan·di·da·cy [kan-di-duh-see] /ˈkæn dɪ də si/; Chiefly British, can·di·da·ture [kan-di-duh-cher] /ˈkæn dɪ də tʃər/, can·di·date·ship, nounpre·can·di·da·cy, nounpre·can·di·da·ture, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for candidacy

British Dictionary definitions for candidacy


/ (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 positionthis wine is a candidate for his cellar
Derived Formscandidacy (ˈkændɪdəsɪ) or candidature (ˈkændɪdətʃə), noun

Word Origin for candidate

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

Word Origin and History for candidacy
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper