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anecdote

[an-ik-doht] /ˈæn ɪkˌdoʊt/
noun, plural anecdotes or for 2, anecdota [an-ik-doh-tuh] /ˌæn ɪkˈdoʊ tə/ (Show IPA)
1.
a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature.
2.
a short, obscure historical or biographical account.
Origin of anecdote
1670-1680
1670-80; < New Latin anecdota or French anecdotes < Late Greek, Greek anékdota things unpublished (referring especially to Procopius' unpublished memoirs of Justinian and Theodora), neuter plural of anékdotos, equivalent to an- an-1 + ékdotos given out, verbal adjective of ekdidónai to give out, publish (ek- ec- + didónai to give)
Can be confused
anecdote, antedate, antidote.
Synonyms
story, yarn, reminiscence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for anecdote
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • See his poem, anecdote for Fathers, showing how the practice of lying may be taught.

    Children's Ways James Sully
  • The old man completed this anecdote in tones that were slightly inflamed.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Of Hogg himself he said much that was amusing and instructive: one anecdote will not soon be forgotten.

  • In fact, a large portion of the whole book was built on that anecdote.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • If you can make a mental picture of an anecdote, you will be apt to remember it with ease.

    Memory William Walker Atkinson
British Dictionary definitions for anecdote

anecdote

/ˈænɪkˌdəʊt/
noun
1.
a short usually amusing account of an incident, esp a personal or biographical one
Derived Forms
anecdotic, adjective
anecdotalist, anecdotist, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin anecdota unpublished items, from Greek anekdotos unpublished, from an- + ekdotos published, from ekdidonai, from ek- out + didonai to give
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
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Word Origin and History for anecdote
n.

1670s, "secret or private stories," from French anecdote (17c.) or directly from Greek anekdota "things unpublished," neuter plural of anekdotos, from an- "not" (see an-) + ekdotos "published," from ek- "out" + didonai "to give" (see date (n.1)).

Procopius' 6c. Anecdota, unpublished memoirs of Emperor Justinian full of court gossip, gave the word a sense of "revelation of secrets," which decayed in English to "brief, amusing stories" (1761).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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