QUIZ YOURSELF ON THE MANY TYPES OF NOUNS
Origin of confidant
Words nearby confidant
CONFIDANT VS. CONFIDANTE VS. CONFIDENT
What’s the difference between confidant, confidante, and confident?
Confidant is a noun meaning someone you feel comfortable telling secret or private things to—a person you confide in. The word confidante is a gender-specific form of confidant that’s applied to women. Confident is an adjective that means sure of oneself or one’s abilities, or having a high level of certainty about something.
Very rarely, the word confident can be used as a noun meaning the same thing as confidant, but we’re pretty confident almost no one uses it this way. We’re also sorry to report that there’s a kind of sofa called a confidente that can also be called a confidante, but honestly you’ll be better off if you just forget we ever said anything about it.
Confidant and confidante are borrowed from French, which has grammatical gender, so some words end differently depending on whether they are applied to men or women (with e being the feminine ending). This happens in a few other pairs of words in English, like blond and blonde, though in many cases the term without the e has become largely gender-neutral. This is the case with confidant, which is the more commonly used of the two.
What’s the best way to be confident that you’re using the right word? Just remember that the ending of both confidant and confidante sounds like the more formal pronunciation of aunt—your aunt could be your confidant (as could your commandant, the ending of which also sounds the same).
The ending of confident, on the other hand, sounds like dent.
Here’s an example of confidant and confident used correctly in the same sentence. (The word confidant could be replaced with confidante if you were referring to a woman and wanted to make the term gender-specific.)
Example: I am confident that what I confide to my confidant stays confidential.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between confidant, confidante, and confident.
Quiz yourself on confidant vs. confidante vs. confident!
Should confident, confidant, or confidante be used in the following sentence?
She felt _____ that her entry would win the contest.
Example sentences from the Web for confidant
Abdullah’s regime said Hamzah was in cahoots with Bassem Awadallah, a former finance minister and longtime confidant of the king, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, another royal family figure, to target “the security and stability of the nation.”Jordan’s royal family feud and alleged coup plot, explained|Alex Ward|April 9, 2021|Vox
The Viennese psychoanalyst reported his discovery in a breathless letter to his colleague and confidant, Wilhelm Fliess.
We have gathered there as hopeful advocates and confidants when “the boss” was elsewhere.Pete Buttigieg as Cabinet secretary is more than a ‘first’|Charles Francis|December 19, 2020|Washington Blade
I think I was a good friend, a loyal confidant, and positive counsel.Ask Amy: Friend favors exclusive group over friendships|Amy Dickinson|November 29, 2020|Washington Post
For decades, only about 1 in 10 people said they had no confidant.Is There Really a “Loneliness Epidemic”? (Ep. 407)|Stephen J. Dubner|February 27, 2020|Freakonomics
When a top Mobutu confidant named Colonel Alphonse Bangala purchased the island, Lometcha bought shares.
A longtime confidant of and lawyer for Lyndon Johnson, Fortas remained a close advisor after joining the Court.Ruth Bader Ginsburg Levels With Us on Why She’s Not Retiring|Jeff Greenfield|September 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Inside was Mandelbaum, her twenty-four-year-old son Julius, and her most trusted confidant, Herman Stoude.Meet 'The Queen of Thieves' Marm Mandelbaum, New York City's First Mob Boss|J. North Conway|September 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Otis Moss, Jr., the noted African-American civil rights leader and confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., concurred.
If the President went through with the appointment, he was counting on his confidant to bust open those particular X-Files.
He was at once banker and confidant of most of the Indians who were getting ahead in agriculture and stock-raising.Mystery Ranch|Arthur Chapman
When M. George Spero was announced, she felt that an unknown friend, almost a confidant, had arrived.Urania|Camille Flammarion
The king and his confidant sprang ashore and walked quickly in the direction of the Pre-aux-Clercs.Catherine de' Medici|Honore de Balzac
She had wanted to make a confidant of her relative, and had decided that nothing could be more unwise.Overland|John William De Forest
"I was well advised in not making you my confidant sooner, if this is how you take it," cried Miss Chressham angrily.The Rake's Progress|Marjorie Bowen