[ noun kan-di-deyt, -dit; verb kan-di-deyt ]
/ noun 藞k忙n d瑟藢de瑟t, -d瑟t; verb 藞k忙n d瑟藢de瑟t /
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See synonyms for: candidate / candidates / candidacy on Thesaurus.com

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路di路dat路ed, can路di路dat路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鈥15, candidate is from the Latin word candid膩tus 鈥渃lothed in white鈥 (adective), 鈥渃andidate for office鈥 (noun, in reference to the white togas worn by those seeking office); see candid, -ate1


can路di路da路cy [kan-di-duh-see], /藞k忙n d瑟 d蓹 si/, nounpre路can路di路da路ture, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does聽candidate mean?

Candidate most commonly means someone who鈥檚 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聽candidate come from?

The word candidate comes from the Latin candid膩tus, meaning 鈥渃lothed in white鈥濃攁 reference to the fact that ancient Roman political candidates often wore white togas (or robes). The related word candid, meaning 鈥渙utspoken or sincere,鈥 comes from the Latin candidus, meaning 鈥渟hining white.鈥 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鈥檛 only used for people鈥攖hings 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鈥檛 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鈥檙e a candidate for Blockhead of the Year. (If we鈥檙e 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?聽

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


What are some words candidate may be commonly confused with?



How is聽candidate聽used in real life?

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



Try using聽candidate!

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

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

How to use candidate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for candidate

/ (藞k忙nd瑟藢de瑟t, -d瑟t) /

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 (藞k忙nd瑟d蓹s瑟) or candidature (藞k忙nd瑟d蓹t蕛蓹), noun

Word Origin for candidate

C17: from Latin candid膩tus clothed in white (because in ancient Rome a candidate wore a white toga), from candidus white
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012