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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
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 Late Greek, Greek anékdota things unpublished (referring especially to Procopius' unpublished memoirs of Justinian and Theodora), neuter plural of anékdotos, equivalent to an- an-1 + ékdotos given out, verbal adjective of ekdidónai to give out, publish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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for anecdote
  • She recounts anecdote after anecdote illustrating how she beat the odds.
  • But the historian learns to question the value of all anecdotes.
  • All that I can share is a personal anecdote.
  • His prose is unsophisticated, but his anecdote-filled story is engaging.
  • He speaks the powerful language of anecdote and first-hand observation.
  • Share a favorite memory or anecdote about your hometown in our new special section.
  • Nevertheless, your unfortunate anecdote has relatively little to say about the wider debate here.
  • Instructions are succinct and blissfully free of anecdote.
  • Other times, anecdote gives rise to philosophical query.
  • They err by drawing conclusions from a non-random sample of a few counties, a statistically cloaked anecdote.
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C17: from Medieval Latin anecdota unpublished items, from Greek anekdotos unpublished, from an- + ekdotos published, from ekdidonai, from ek- out + didonai to give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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