Definition of anecdote in English:


Line breaks: an¦ec|dote
Pronunciation: /ˈanɪkdəʊt


1A short amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person: he told anecdotes about his job
More example sentences
  • He had led an interesting life and was full of amusing stories and anecdotes, all of which he told with enthusiasm.
  • No funny stories, no amusing anecdotes just a proud Dad sending his baby off into the big wide world of further education.
  • It mingles facts and figures with anecdotes and stories in short sections which are listed alphabetically.
1.1An account regarded as unreliable or hearsay: [mass noun]: his wife’s death has long been the subject of rumour and anecdote
More example sentences
  • There are areas within the report that we believe are based on untested and unreliable individual anecdotes.
  • The evidence that supports this theory is hearsay anecdotes going back thousands of years.
  • 3 The form or ‘factitiousness’ of the anecdote provides the shape and the subjectivity of the account.
1.2 [mass noun] The depiction of a minor narrative incident in a painting: the use of inversions of hierarchy, anecdote, and paradox by Magritte, Dali, and others
More example sentences
  • A pupil of Domenichino, he was most in sympathy with classical art, but he also appreciated the Baroque, and enriched his narratives with anecdote and vivid detail.
  • Burns's handmade tableaux - in style and use of narrative anecdote - are similar to the work of fellow Houstonian, Bill Davenport.
  • Now, however, we can appreciate the subtlety and unexpectedness of his framing, and the complex interplay he so often achieves between anecdote and form.


late 17th century: from French, or via modern Latin from Greek anekdota 'things unpublished', from an- 'not' + ekdotos, from ekdidōnai 'publish'.

Definition of anecdote in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day rebuff
Pronunciation: rɪˈbʌf
reject (someone or something) in an abrupt manner…