noun, plural anecdotes or for 2, anecdota [an-ik-doh-tuh] .
a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature.
a short, obscure historical or biographical account.

1670–80; < Neo-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 Late Greek, Greek anékdota things unpublished (referring especially to Procopius' unpublished memoirs of Justinian and Theodora), neuter plural of anékdotos, equivalent to an- an-1 + ékdotos given out, verbal adjective of ekdidónai to give out, publish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)

anecdote, antedate, antidote.

story, yarn, reminiscence. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
anecdote (ˈænɪkˌdəʊt)
a short usually amusing account of an incident, esp a personal or biographical one
[C17: from Medieval Latin anecdota unpublished items, from Greek anekdotos unpublished, from an- + ekdotos published, from ekdidonai, from ek- out + didonai to give]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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1670s, "secret or private stories," from Fr., from Gk. anekdota "things unpublished," neut. pl. of anekdotos, from an- "not" + ekdotos "published," from ek- "out" + didonai "to give" (see date (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 Anecdota, unpublished memoirs of Emperor Justinian full of court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 Eng. to "brief, amusing stories" (1761). Related: Anecdotal (1836). Anecdotage "garrulous old age" is a jocular formation of De Quincey's from 1823.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
What economists aim for is to get beneath the anecdotes.
Even if you have data, anecdotes can help you get a subjective grip on things.
Some of the anecdotes, to modern taste, are merely silly or obscene.
Analysis is in shorter supply than anecdotes.
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