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Alternative forms[edit]


Late 17th c., from French anecdote, from Ancient Greek ἀνέκδοτος (anékdotos, accounts unpublished), from ἀν- (an-, not, un-) + ἔκδοτος (ékdotos, published), from ἐκδίδωμι (ekdídōmi, I publish), from ἐκ- (ek-, out) + δίδωμι (dídōmi, I give).

Virtually identical cognates in other European languages – French anecdote, German Anekdote, Spanish anécdota, among others.



anecdote (countable and uncountable, plural anecdotes)

  1. A short account of a real incident or person, often humorous or interesting.
    tell an anecdote
    relate a short anecdote
    • 1839, “Commercial Travellers”, in The Merchants’ Magazine, and Commercial Review, volume I, New York, N.Y.: Freeman Hunt, [], pages 30–31:
      Like all travellers, he is full of anecdote, and has at his command the rarest news of the time. [] Generous, convivial, and full of anecdote, the mercantile agent is a good companion, and his conversation never fails to make glad and jocund the society of that otherwise dullest of places, an English stage coach.
  2. An account which supports an argument, but which is not supported by scientific or statistical analysis.
  3. A previously untold secret account of an incident.

Derived terms[edit]



anecdote (third-person singular simple present anecdotes, present participle anecdoting, simple past and past participle anecdoted)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To tell anecdotes (about).
    • 1879, Eustace Clare Grenville Murray, That Artful Vicar:
      They were all men of the same set, knowing one another intimately, and knowing the same people; so they fell to talking and anecdoting in such pleasant wise that dinner-time approached []
    • 1986, Elliot L. Gilbert, Best Short Stories from the California Quarterly, 1971-1985, page 101:
      Bob anecdoted the circus he and Jimmy had seen that afternoon.





anecdote f (plural anecdotes)

  1. anecdote


Further reading[edit]