The Meaning of Candid: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of candid? This guide will provide you with all of the knowledge you need on the word candid, including its definition, etymology, synonyms, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word candid mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word candid is an adjective that means honest, unbiased, frank or outspoken. If someone is candid, they are free from reservation, disguise, or subterfuge. They might be a blunt talking person. 

You might hear this word used in the term candid photography. This is where someone uses subtlety or evasiveness to get unplanned, candid shots from a candid camera. Some of these are even hidden cameras. Candid photography became a form of  popular photography with the introduction of supplementary flash and the subsequent early senses of faster cameras. This is in opposition to a posed fashion shot.

Words meaning candid are also used in many other languages. You may notice that some of these words and phrases look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates which are often formed when two words in different languages have the same root or language of origin. This list of translations of candid is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Tamil: நேர்மையான‎
  •  Dutch: eerlijk‎
  •  Hungarian: őszinte‎
  •  Vietnamese: thành thật‎
  •  Tagalog: matapat‎
  •  Maori: tapatahi‎
  •  French: honnête‎
  •  Lao: ມີຄວາມຊື່ສັດ‎
  •  Polish: uczciwy‎ (masc.)
  •  Armenian: ազնիվ‎
  •  Macedonian: искрен‎
  •  Nynorsk: ærleg‎
  •  Irish: macánta‎
  •  Romanian: cinstit‎, onest‎
  •  Min Dong: 平直‎ (bang dik> bang lik)
  •  Italian: onesto‎ (masc.), onesta‎ (fem.)
  •  Cantonese: 誠實‎ (sing4 sat6)
  •  Slovak: poctivý‎
  •  Estonian: aus‎
  •  Russian: че́стный‎
  •  Esperanto: honesta‎
  •  Spanish: honesto‎, sincero‎
  •  Finnish: rehellinen‎
  •  Danish: ærlig‎
  •  German: ehrlich‎, aufrichtig‎
  •  Cebuano: matinod-anon‎
  •  Swedish: ärlig‎
  •  Portuguese: honesto‎ (masc.), honesta‎ (fem.), sincero‎ (masc.), sincera‎ (fem.)
  •  Czech: poctivý‎ (masc.)
  •  Japanese: 正直‎, 誠実‎ (せいじつ, seijitsu)
  •  Bokmål: ærlig‎
  •  Volapük: snatik‎
  •  Thai: ซื่อสัตย์‎ (sêu sàt)
  •  Norman: honnête‎
  •  Basque: zintzo‎
  •  Greek: τίμιος‎ (masc.), έντιμος‎ (masc.)
  •  Javanese: jujur‎
  •  Mandarin: 誠實‎, 诚实‎ (chéngshí), 正直‎ (zhèngzhí), 老實‎, 老实‎ (lǎoshi)
  •  Faroese: ærligur‎
  •  Arabic: نَزِيه‎ (masc.)
  •  Scottish Gaelic: ionraic‎, ceart‎
  •  Icelandic: heiðarlegur‎ (masc.), ráðvandur‎ (masc.), sómakær‎ (masc.), réttsýnn‎ (masc.)

What is the origin of the word candid?

According to Etymonline, the word candid has been used since C17. This comes from the Latin Candidum and candēre, which come from the other Latin roots ēre and idus, as well as kand in  Indo-European roots. This word originally meant white and bright in the Latin sense.

How can the word candid be used in a sentence?

The word candid can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions and incorporate them into your vocabulary. You could also try making a quiz or flashcards to test your knowledge of different definitions. Try using this new word of the day in a sentence today! You never know, it might become a new favorite word. Below are several examples of candid being used in English language sentences to help get you started.

The fans took a candid photo of the celebrity with no reservation or secretiveness. There was no intended malice, but the guard made them delete it since she was in a disguise. He resolved the candid photo situation.

The candid eyes stared into the soul of the defendant during the point-blank accusation in the middle of the courtroom.

She is my most candid friend, and I can always go to her for faithful advice. We has a heart to heart talk about the dislike of our friends new boyfriend, and she advised me to take a forthright approach.

The blunt New England farmer was a candid observer and sayer of forthright criticism.  He was never too shy to give a candid view of reality and prejudice that faces his small town.

The candid reader explained her undue bias toward the voyages of Christopher Columbus. They brought a flood of plagues to the Americas and stole land from the Natives.

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word candid?

There are many different equivalent words that a person can use in place of the word candid. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. One might choose to use a synonym because they want to avoid repeating themselves, or because they would like to work  on expanding their vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word candid is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  unequivocal
  •  upfront
  •  unvarnished
  •  real
  •  undisguised
  •  plain
  •  truthful
  •  direct
  •  naive
  •  simple
  •  open
  •  aboveboard
  •  point-blank
  •  guileless
  •  honest
  •  fair
  •  outspoken
  •  unreserved
  •  genuine
  •  vocal
  •  unprejudiced
  •  frank
  •  plain-spoken
  •  blunt
  •  unbiased
  •  informal
  •  upright
  •  plainspoken
  •  equitable
  •  uninhibited
  •  free-spoken
  •  impartial
  •  sincere
  •  bluff
  •  unaffected
  •  bald
  •  straightforward
  •  straight-from-the-shoulder
  •  free
  •  explicit
  •  forthright
  •  ingenuous
  •  artless
  •  just
  •  true
  •  above-board
  •  pure
  •  heart-to-heart
  •  straight
  •  natural

There are also a great many words that mean the opposite of the word candid. These are called antonyms. English language antonyms are also very useful grammatical devices to know. This list of antonyms for the word candid is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  furtive
  •  dodgy
  •  dishonest
  •  absorbed
  •  artificial
  •  all icing no cake
  •  deceptive
  •  bar
  •  false
  •  insidious
  •  foul
  •  taciturn
  •  disingenuous
  •  guileful
  •  all mouth and trousers
  •  subtle
  •  worldly
  •  reticent
  •  diplomatic
  •  abide
  •  insincere
  •  weighted
  •  deceitful
  •  lying
  •  tricky
  •  withdrawn
  •  indirect
  •  act
  •  hypocritical
  •  alleged
  •  all talk and no trousers
  •  colored
  •  winding
  •  cagey
  •  wily
  •  feigned
  •  cute
  •  sly
  •  devious
  •  aligned
  •  adulterous
  •  absorbed in
  •  academic
  •  foxy
  •  adroit
  •  against the law
  •  all bark and no bite
  •  uncommunicative
  •  biased
  •  cunning

Overall, the word candid means open, frank and honest. This is also a type of photography in which a photographer takes a photograph of a person in a natural way such as candid wedding photography.


  1. Candid definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. candid: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. candid | Origin and meaning of candid | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  4. Candid antonyms – 506 Opposites of Candid | Power Thesaurus 
  5. Candid synonyms – 1 134 Words and Phrases for Candid | Power Thesaurus