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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 Late Greek, Greek anékdota things unpublished (referring especially to Procopius' unpublished memoirs of Justinian and Theodora), neuter plural of anékdotos, equivalent to an- an-1 + ékdotos given out, verbal adjective of ekdidónai to give out, publish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 anecdotes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Perhaps like all anecdotes it may have grown in the telling.

  • Your anecdotes from Ad-Damiry and your quotations from Montaigne shall not help you.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • On this point Abélard quotes, with stolidest approval, one of the most heart-rending of anecdotes.

    Renaissance Fancies and Studies Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)
  • What anecdotes he had of ministers who had cheated at cards!

    Luttrell Of Arran Charles James Lever
  • That we must attribute to cats the estimable virtue of benevolence, Mrs F— gives me two anecdotes to prove.

    Stories of Animal Sagacity W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for anecdotes

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C17: from Medieval Latin anecdota unpublished items, from Greek anekdotos unpublished, from an- + ekdotos published, from ekdidonai, from ek- out + didonai to give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 anecdotes

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 or directly from Greek anekdota "things unpublished," neuter plural of anekdotos, from an- "not" (see an-) + ekdotos "published," from ek- "out" + didonai "to give" (see date (n.1)).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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