• synonyms


[noun kan-di-deyt, -dit; verb kan-di-deyt]
See more synonyms for candidate on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person who seeks an office, honor, etc.: a candidate for governor.
  2. a person who is selected by others as a contestant for an office, honor, etc.
  3. 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.
  4. a student studying for a degree: Candidates for the B.A. will have to meet certain minimum requirements.
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verb (used without object), can·di·dat·ed, can·di·dat·ing.
  1. 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 (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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for candidature

Historical Examples

  • A year before his candidature he had been called to the Provincial bar.

    The Story of the Upper Canada Rebellion, Volume 1

    John Charles Dent

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for candidature


  1. a person seeking or nominated for election to a position of authority or honour or selection for a job, promotion, etc
  2. a person taking an examination or test
  3. a person or thing regarded as suitable or likely for a particular fate or positionthis wine is a candidate for his cellar
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Derived Formscandidacy (ˈkændɪdəsɪ) or 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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper