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15th century, from Middle French fidélité, from Latin fidēlitās, from fidēlis (faithful), from fidēs (faith, loyalty) (English faith), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰidʰ-, zero-grade of Proto-Indo-European *bʰeydʰ- (to command, to persuade, to trust) (English bide).


  • IPA(key): /fɪˈdɛl.ɪ.ti/, /faɪˈdɛl.ɪ.ti/


fidelity (countable and uncountable, plural fidelities)

  1. Faithfulness to one's duties.
    the fidelity of the civil servants
  2. Loyalty to one's spouse or partner, including abstention from extramarital affairs (except in an open marriage).
  3. Accuracy, or exact correspondence to some given quality or fact.
  4. The degree to which a system accurately reproduces an input.
    • 2003, Proceedings of the Twenty-ninth International Conference on Very Large Databases, Berlin, Germany, 9-12 September, 2003, page 58:
      By placing them closer to the source, we can reduce the number of messages in the system and this in turn is likely to improve the fidelity of the system.


  • 2004, High-Fidelity Medical Imaging Displays (Aldo Badano, Michael J. Flynn, Jerzy Kanicki, ISBN 0819451916
  • 2008, David L. Nelson, Michael M. Cox, Absolute Ultimate Guide for Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry ISBN 1429212411, page S-305:
    The isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase has a proofreading function that ensures the fidelity of the aminoacylation reaction, but the histidyl-tRNA synthetase lacks such a proofreading function.


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