What does anecdote mean?

Definitions for anecdoteˈæn ɪkˌdoʊt

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word anecdote.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. anecdote(noun)

    short account of an incident (especially a biographical one)


  1. anecdote(Noun)

    A short account of an incident, often humorous.

  2. anecdote(Noun)

    An account which supports an argument, but which is not supported by scientific or statistical analysis.

  3. anecdote(Noun)

    A previously untold secret account of an incident.

  4. Origin: Late 17th century, from anecdote, from ἀνέκδοτος, from ἀν- (English an-) + ἔκδοτος, from ἐκδίδωμι, from ἐκ- + δίδωμι.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Anecdote(noun)

    unpublished narratives

  2. Anecdote(noun)

    a particular or detached incident or fact of an interesting nature; a biographical incident or fragment; a single passage of private life

  3. Origin: [F. anecdote, fr. Gr. not published; 'an priv. + given out, to give out, to publish; out + to give. See Dose, n.]


  1. Anecdote

    An anecdote is a short and amusing or interesting account, which may depict a real incident or person. Anecdotes can be as brief as the setting and provocation of a bon mot. An anecdote is always presented as based in a real incident involving actual persons, whether famous or not, usually in an identifiable place. However, over time, modification in reuse may convert a particular anecdote to a fictional piece, one that is retold but is "too good to be true". Sometimes humorous, anecdotes are not jokes, because their primary purpose is not simply to evoke laughter, but to reveal a truth more general than the brief tale itself, or to delineate a character trait in such a light that it strikes in a flash of insight to its very essence. Novalis observed "An anecdote is a historical element — a historical molecule or epigram". A brief monologue beginning "A man pops in a bar..." will be a joke. A brief monologue beginning "Once J. Edgar Hoover popped in a bar..." will be an anecdote. An anecdote thus is closer to the tradition of the parable than the patently invented fable with its animal characters and generic human figures— but it is distinct from the parable in the historical specificity which it claims.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Anecdote

    an′ek-dōt, n. an incident of private life: a short story.—n. An′ecdotage, anecdotes collectively: garrulous old age.—adjs. An′ecdotal, Anecdot′ical, in the form of an anecdote. [Gr.; 'not published'—a, an, neg., and ekdotos, published—ek, out, and didonai, to give.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of anecdote in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of anecdote in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Ben J. Wattenberg:

    The plural of anecdote is data.

  2. Billy Dunn:

    Anecdote and emotion do not change the data.

  3. William Ellery Channing:

    One good anecdote is worth a volume of biography.

  4. Rand Paul:

    I think it's an important question and I don't think it's a historical anecdote. I don't think it's something that's a hypothetical question.

  5. Letitia Elizabeth Landon:

    The free pen, prone to pour out the suggestions of artless affection, vivid imagination, or domestic anecdote, is as much woman's especial instrument as the needle.

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Translations for anecdote

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"anecdote." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 29 Apr. 2017. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/anecdote>.

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