1 a : one that aspires to or is nominated or qualified for an office, membership, or award
b : one likely or suited to undergo or be chosen for something specified
2 : a student in the process of meeting final requirements for a degree
Did You Know?
When a man running for public office in ancient Rome greeted voters in the Forum, the center of judicial and public business, he wore a toga that had been whitened with chalk. As a result, the Latin word for someone seeking office came to be candidatus, meaning literally “clothed in white.” Candidatus, in turn, comes from the adjective candidus, meaning “white.” Candidatus was adopted into English as candidate, and since the 17th century that word has had an uncontested seat in the language.
“But there are nine vaccine candidates around the world that have reached phase III trials, the large, final stage of testing that usually comes before regulatory approval. It is likely that not all of them will reach the clinic.” — Clare Wilson, The New Scientist, 19 Sept. 2020
“No modern presidential election has been decided by campaign spending. That is because both candidates always have enough cash to achieve the single main point of it: near-universal name recognition among voters in the dozen or fewer swing states that determine the outcome.” — The Economist, 19 Sept. 2020