[n. kan-di-deyt, -dit; v. kan-di-deyt]
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), candidated, candidating.
to become a candidate for service as a new minister of a church; preach before a congregation that is seeking a new minister.

1605–15; < Latin candidātus clothed in white (adj.), candidate for office (noun, in reference to the white togas worn by those seeking office). See candid, -ate1

candidacy [kan-di-duh-see] . Chiefly British, candidature [kan-di-duh-cher] , candidateship, noun
precandidacy, noun
precandidature, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
candidate (ˈkændɪˌdeɪt, -dɪt)
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 position: this wine is a candidate for his cellar
[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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1600s, from L. candidatus "one aspiring to office," originally "white-robed," pp. of candidare "to make white or bright," from candidus (see candid). Office-seekers in ancient Rome wore white togas.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Technology and science will find their advancement in terms of what the
  candidate actual does in office.
Dupont was elected to the committee writh more first-choice voles than any
  other candidate.
The candidate might have no chance of winning, but his votes would swell the
  party aggregate.
Any conversation about academic hiring will eventually light on the issue of
  how to define the “best” candidate.
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