• synonyms


  1. the state or quality of being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression; candidness: The candor of the speech impressed the audience.
  2. freedom from bias; fairness; impartiality: to consider an issue with candor.
  3. Obsolete. kindliness.
  4. Obsolete. purity.
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Also especially British, can·dour.

Origin of candor

1350–1400 (for sense “extreme whiteness”); Middle English < Latin: radiance, whiteness; see candid, -or1

Synonyms for candor

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

Examples from the Web for candour

Historical Examples of candour

  • Candour and sincerity may be recommended from this example, as the best policy.

    Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I

    Francis Augustus Cox

  • And the Vignerons' delight in living was displayed in all candour.

  • The value of candour in individuals should be measured by their sensibility to shame.

  • But has she had the candour, the openness, to acknowledge that love?

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • All mankind are like us, but they have not the candour to avow it.'

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for candour


US candor

  1. the quality of being open and honest; frankness
  2. fairness; impartiality
  3. obsolete purity or brightness
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Word Origin for candour

C17: from Latin candor, from candēre to be white, shine
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 candour


chiefly British English spelling of candor (q.v.); for spelling, see -or.

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"openness of mind, impartiality, frankness," c.1600, from Latin candor "purity, openness," originally "whiteness," from candere "to shine, to be white" (see candle). Borrowed earlier in English (c.1500) with the Latin literal sense "extreme whiteness."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper