Origin of confidante
Words nearby confidante
CONFIDANTE VS. CONFIDANT VS. CONFIDENT
What’s the difference between confidante, confidant, and confident?
The word confidante is a gender-specific form of confidant, a noun meaning someone you feel comfortable telling secret or private things to—a person you confide in. Confidante is specifically 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 confidante and confident used correctly in the same sentence. (The word confidante could be replaced with confidant if you wanted to make the term gender-neutral.)
Example: I am confident that what I confide to my confidante stays confidential.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between confidante, confidant, and confident.
Quiz yourself on confidante vs. confidant vs. confident!
Should confident, confidant, or confidante be used in the following sentence?
She felt _____ that her entry would win the contest.
How to use confidante in a sentence
They were married in December 1954, and Joyce remained her husband’s closest confidante.Donald H. Rumsfeld, influential but controversial Bush defense secretary, dies at 88|Bradley Graham|June 30, 2021|Washington Post
While its influence is clearly perceptible in the Prince of Wales, the heir to the throne has reportedly told confidantes that he hated his time at Gordonstoun.The Queen’s Man: Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Dies|Howard Chua-Eoan|April 9, 2021|Time
Klara does her best to be a friend, aide, and confidante to Josie while continuing to learn about the world around her and decode the mysteries of human behavior.In ‘Klara and the Sun,’ We Glimpse an Eerie Future Through the Eyes of a Robot|Vanessa Bates Ramirez|March 24, 2021|Singularity Hub
Malatras is a longtime confidante of Cuomo, having served as his chief of operations from 2014 to 2017.Cuomo’s Nursing Home Scandal Raises Questions for One of His Senior Aides|by Joe Sexton|March 10, 2021|ProPublica
Some of his close confidantes and most loyal aides have chosen to resign rather than defend his rhetoric.Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigns after Capitol siege|Axios|January 7, 2021|Axios
His confidante, Louis Howe, reminded FDR there had never been a divorced president.Eleanor Roosevelt: Feminist Icon|Eleanor Clift|September 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Mary drank to mask her pain, wipe out her feelings, and sleep,” says a confidante, “not get drunk.New Questions Arise About Mary Richardson Kennedy’s Suicide|Nancy Collins|May 16, 2013|DAILY BEAST
He didn't much want the job, he was more fulfilled as Jack's confidante that he was ever likely to be as Jack's heir.David's Bookclub: Mutual Contempt|David Frum|April 28, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Dame Maggie Smith's fiery Dowager Countess will get a confidante in the form of Lady Shackleton, played by Dame Harriet Walters.The Red Blooded Blue Bloods Hoping To Mend Lady Mary's Heart|Tom Sykes|March 4, 2013|DAILY BEAST
She, then still a teen, instantly became his closest confidante and companion through the many storms of his career.Why the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and Wife Vanessa Are Staying Together|Allison Samuels|January 17, 2013|DAILY BEAST
I must have a confidante here, and there are only two to choose from.The Diamond Coterie|Lawrence L. Lynch
The noble lady has bargained to make over to her confidante all her interest in Hervey's heart.Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)|Maria Edgeworth
You will at once see from this that Sally had lost no time in finding a confidante for the fossil's communication.Somehow Good|William de Morgan
Mrs. Beaumont opened the delicate case with a sigh, which claimed the notice of her young confidante.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)|Maria Edgeworth
The girl who had relied upon herself from childhood, needed no explanation, no confidante.Complete Short Works|Georg Ebers