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1. Frankness or sincerity of expression; openness.
2. Freedom from prejudice; impartiality.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin, from candēre, to shine; see kand- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈkæn dər)

1. the state or quality of being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression; candidness.
2. freedom from bias; fairness; impartiality.
3. Obs. kindliness.
4. Obs. purity.
Also, esp. Brit.,can′dour.
[1600–10; < Latin: radiance, whiteness; see candid, -or1]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. About as sincere as the look upon the face of an undertaker conducting a nine-hundred-dollar funeral —H. L. Mencken
  2. As candid as the C.I.A. —Anon
  3. As devoted to candor as a high school valedictorian —Jonathan Valin
  4. As forthcoming as Pravda —Joseph Wambaugh
  5. As frank as a candid camera shot —Anon
  6. As open [about revealing self] as an unsteamed clam —Elyse Sommer
  7. As revealing as a locked diary —Anon
  8. Candid as mirrors —Robert G. Ingersoll
  9. Direct as a bullet —Flannery O’Connor
  10. Phony as a laugh track —Vincent Canby, about the movie Murphy’s Romance, New York Times, January 17, 1986
  11. Sincerity is like traveling on a plain beaten road, which commonly brings a man sooner to his journey’s end than by-ways in which men often lose themselves —John Tillotson
  12. Took off the mask of tranquility she had worn … like an actress returning weary to her room after a trying fifth act and falling half-dead upon a couch, while the audience retains an image of her to which she bears not the slightest resemblance —Honoré de Balzac
  13. (You get right) to the point … like a knife in the heart —Harvey Fierstein

    Fierstein’s simile is a line from La Cage aux Folles, the musical based on Jean Poire’s play by the same name.

  14. Two-sided, like Janus —L. P. Hartley
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.candor - ability to make judgments free from discrimination or dishonesty
impartiality, nonpartisanship - an inclination to weigh both views or opinions equally
2.candor - the quality of being honest and straightforward in attitude and speech
honestness, honesty - the quality of being honest
ingenuousness - openly straightforward or frank
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
That this remaining task may be executed under impressions conducive to a just and fair result, some reflections must in this place be indulged, which candor previously suggests.
With equal readiness will it be perceived, that besides these inducements to candor, many allowances ought to be made for the difficulties inherent in the very nature of the undertaking referred to the convention.
Then the candor of the woman's whole existence, which every one might read, and which formed so striking a contrast to her own habitual reserve--this might have furnished a link.
She was flushed and felt intoxicated with the sound of her own voice and the unaccustomed taste of candor. It muddled her like wine, or like a first breath of freedom.
You will pardon my candor, but it is necessary that you understand my mental attitude toward this particular story--that you may credit that which fol-lows.
Again, we have known you long, and can put the most entire confidence in your truth, candor, and sincerity.
The national government, in such cases, will not be affected by this pride, but will proceed with moderation and candor to consider and decide on the means most proper to extricate them from the difficulties which threaten them.
And this lack of candor in a matter of such gravity infuriated him.
"This is not to the purpose," said Eugenie; "let us speak candidly, sir; I admire candor."
I have proposed to you to marry, not for your sake, for indeed I did not think of you in the least at the moment (you admire candor, and will now be satisfied, I hope); but because it suited me to marry you as soon as possible, on account of certain commercial speculations I am desirous of entering into." Eugenie became uneasy.
She stood there in so much of her candor and so little of her nightgown, with her pink bare feet and the golden glow of her curls.
Candor will oblige us to admit that even such men may be actuated by upright intentions; and it cannot be doubted that much of the opposition which has made its appearance, or may hereafter make its appearance, will spring from sources, blameless at least, if not respectable -- the honest errors of minds led astray by preconceived jealousies and fears.