candidate

[ noun kan-di-deyt, -dit; verb kan-di-deyt ]
/ noun ˈkæn dɪˌdeɪt, -dɪt; verb ˈkæn dɪˌdeɪt /

noun

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.

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Origin of candidate

First recorded in 1605–15, candidate is from the Latin word candidātus “clothed in white” (adective), “candidate for office” (noun, in reference to the white togas worn by those seeking office); see candid, -ate1

OTHER WORDS FROM candidate

can·di·da·cy [kan-di-duh-see], /ˈkæn dɪ də si/, nounpre·can·di·da·ture, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does candidate mean?

Candidate most commonly means someone who’s seeking to be elected, hired, or appointed to a position, especially a political office or job.

The word candidate most commonly refers to a politician seeking election or a person who has applied for a job. But it can be used in several other ways to refer to someone or something under consideration for some kind of treatment or status.

Example: We have more than 100 applicants, but almost none of them are qualified candidates for this job.

Where does candidate come from?

The word candidate comes from the Latin candidātus, meaning “clothed in white”—a reference to the fact that ancient Roman political candidates often wore white togas (or robes). The related word candid, meaning “outspoken or sincere,” comes from the Latin candidus, meaning “shining white.” The first recorded use of candidate in English comes from the 1600s.

Candidate has been used since then to refer to politicians running for office. Later, candidate began to be used in relation to academics, referring to a student pursuing a particular degree, such as a Ph.D. candidate. The word is commonly used today to mean someone who has applied for a job. Candidate can refer to any applicant for a job, but it is often specifically used for one who is seriously being considered for it.

Candidate can also be used in a more general way to refer to any person being considered for something, as in candidate for surgery (a person who may qualify to undergo a procedure) or candidate for promotion. But candidate isn’t only used for people—things can be candidates, too. For example, a particular expense might be considered a candidate for a budget cut, or a wine may be a candidate for a prize.

The word candidate is often used in the context of official decisions, but it doesn’t have to be. You could say that a movie is a candidate for your top 10 list, or you could tease your friend by saying they’re a candidate for Blockhead of the Year. (If we’re being candid, that seems like what most politicians are running for, too.)

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What are some other forms of candidate?

  • candidacy (noun)
  • candidateship (noun, primarily British)
  • candidature (noun, primarily British)
  • precandidacy (noun)
  • precanditure (noun)

What are some synonyms for candidate?

What are some words that share a root or word element with candidate

What are some words that often get used in discussing candidate?

 

What are some words candidate may be commonly confused with?

 

 

How is candidate used in real life?

Candidate is most often used in the context of running for political office or applying for a job.

 

 

Try using candidate!

Which of the following words can be a synonym for candidate?

A. associate
B. applicant
C. consideration
D. campaign

Example sentences from the Web for candidate

British Dictionary definitions for candidate

candidate
/ (ˈkændɪˌdeɪt, -dɪt) /

noun

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 forms of candidate

candidacy (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