Definition of anecdote in English:


Syllabification: an·ec·dote
Pronunciation: /ˈanikˌdōt


  • 1A short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person: told anecdotes about his job he had a rich store of anecdotes
    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.
    story, tale, narrative, incident; urban myth/legend
    informal yarn
  • 1.1An account regarded as unreliable or hearsay: his wife’s death has long been the subject of rumor 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.
  • 1.2The depiction of a minor narrative incident in a painting.
    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late 17th century: from French, or via modern Latin from Greek anekdota 'things unpublished', from an- 'not' + ekdotos, from ekdidōnai 'publish'.

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