Candor vs. Candid

Difference Between Candor and Candid There are many pairs of words in English language causing a lot of…

Difference Between Candor and Candid

There are many pairs of words in English language causing a lot of trouble for those whose mother tongue is not English. Candor and candid is such a pair, which are apparently innocent. Of the two, candor or candor, as it is spelled in British English, is an older word that means being sincere or simple in speech and outlook. Candid is a later word that is very close in connotation to candor. It is an adjective describing the quality of a person. So a candid person is one who is bold and frank. Though, there are subtle differences between the two words that need to be highlighted.

Candor is a noun, while candid is an adjective, describing an attribute of a person. Candor has French and Latin roots. In both languages it means a superiority of being open and honest. Frankness is what comes closest to candor in meaning. Though being a noun, it does not mean you can call a person candor. A person reflecting candor is one with quality of sincerity, neutrality, frankness, honesty, straight forwardness, openness, seriousness and forthrightness.

Understand you have just had a haircut, and want an honest review of your looks, you would ask your friends to be candid in their views, and not diplomatic. You want complete truth as it is a matter of great importance to you, and it is only a straightforward opinion that would tell you how you look in your haircut. If someone is candid, you know that what he is saying is coming straight from his heart, and he does not think twice before speaking. Candid is a word frequently used in photography to refer to a photo that is honest in its appearance as it does not try to hide or cover anything, and reflects the truth in its entirety.

The reason why people perplex between candor and candid is because of a word, candidness that has same connotation as candor. A person can be candid, but he has candidness or candor, which obviously tells us how to make the best use of these two words. Thus, replacing candor with candidness is possible, but never makes the mistake of using candid in place of candor.

Take a look at the following sentences.

John was candid about his dislike of poverty and did not try to be political about his aversion.

The jury was overwhelmed by the candor of the convict as he did not show any remorse for his act.

Difference between Candor and Candid

• Candor is a noun while candid is an adjective

• Both portray nearly similar qualities of a person though they are not replaceable and one cannot use candid in place of candor which can be replaced with candidness.


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