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[n. kan-di-deyt, -dit; v. kan-di-deyt] /n. ˈkæn dɪˌdeɪt, -dɪt; v. ˈkæn dɪˌdeɪt/
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
Related forms
[kan-di-duh-see] /ˈkæn dɪ də si/ (Show IPA).
Chiefly British, candidature
[kan-di-duh-cher] /ˈkæn dɪ də tʃər/ (Show IPA),
candidateship, noun
precandidacy, noun
precandidature, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for candidates
  • The sculptural shapes of agaves also make them perfect candidates for bold, contemporary gardens.
  • By then a raucous debate over the propriety of reporting on candidates' personal lives had already begun.
  • In fact, though, she has the power only to nominate candidates.
  • As for the conventions, the critics complained that both candidates displayed little savvy about the potential of the medium.
  • Despite the challenges of identifying early humans, there are several candidates for the earliest known members of our species.
  • Even sloping roofs are candidates for the green treatment.
  • Travelers can nominate additional candidates and provide feedback about unique travel experiences and quality destinations.
  • These wilder places are natural candidates for conservation measures.
  • It was a different story for some of the other candidates.
  • Ask students to orally explain which planets they think may be good candidates for weather study.
British Dictionary definitions for candidates


/ˈkændɪˌdeɪt; -dɪt/
a person seeking or nominated for election to a position of authority or honour or selection for a job, promotion, etc
a person taking an examination or test
a person or thing regarded as suitable or likely for a particular fate or position: this wine is a candidate for his cellar
Derived Forms
candidacy (ˈkændɪdəsɪ), candidature (ˈkændɪdətʃə) noun
Word Origin
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 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 candidates



c.1600s, from Latin candidatus "one aspiring to office," originally "white-robed," past participle 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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