\ \ [17] In Greek, anékdotos meant ‘unpublished’. It was formed from the negative prefix an- and ékdotos, which in turn came from the verb didónaigive’ (a distant cousin of English donation and date) plus the prefix ek- ‘out’ – hence ‘give out, publish’. The use of the plural anékdota by the 6th-century Byzantine historian Procopius as the title of his unpublished memoirs of the life of the Emperor Justinian, which revealed juicy details of court life, played a major part in the subsequent use of Latin anecdota for ‘revelations of secrets’, the sense which anecdote had when it first came into English. The meaning ‘brief amusing story’ did not develop until the mid 18th century.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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(of private life),

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  • anecdote — [ anɛkdɔt ] n. f. • 1685; titre de recueil, fin XVIIe; lat. anecdota (surtout plur.); gr. anekdota « choses inédites », titre d un ouvrage de Procope ♦ Littér. Particularité historique, petit fait curieux dont le récit peut éclairer le dessous… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • anecdote — ANECDOTE. s. f. Particularité se crète d Histoire, qui avoit été omise ou supprimée par les Historiens précédens. Anecdote curieuse. Les Anecdotes sont ordinairement satiriques. [b]f♛/b] Il s emploie aussi adjectivem. L Histoire anecdote de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Anecdote — An ec*dote, n. [F. anecdote, fr. Gr. ? not published; an priv. + ? given out, ? to give out, to publish; ? out + ? to give. See {Dose}, n.] 1. pl. Unpublished narratives. Burke. [1913 Webster] 2. A particular or detached incident or fact of an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • anecdote — (n.) 1670s, secret or private stories, from Fr. anecdote (17c.) or directly from Gk. anekdota things unpublished, neuter plural of anekdotos, from an not (see AN (Cf. an )) + ekdotos published, from ek out + didonai to give …   Etymology dictionary

  • anecdote — *story, tale, yarn, narrative Analogous words: incident, episode, event, *occurrence: narration, relation, recital (see corresponding verbs at RELATE) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • anecdote — [n] interesting or amusing story chestnut*, episode, fairy tale*, fish story*, gag*, incident, long and short of it*, narration, narrative, old chestnut*, recital, relation, reminiscence, short story, sketch, tale, tall story*, tall tale*, yarn;… …   New thesaurus

  • anecdote — ► NOUN 1) a short entertaining story about a real incident or person. 2) an account regarded as unreliable or as being hearsay. DERIVATIVES anecdotal adjective anecdotalist noun anecdotally adverb. ORIGIN from Greek anekdota things unpublished …   English terms dictionary

  • anecdote — [an′ik dōt΄, an′ekdōt΄] n. [Fr < ML anecdota < Gr anekdota, neut. pl. of anekdotos, unpublished < an , not + ekdotos < ekdidonai < ek , out + didonai, to give: see DATE1] 1. [pl.] Obs. little known, entertaining facts of history or …   English World dictionary

  • Anecdote — For other uses, see Anecdota. : For a comparison of anecdote with other kinds of stories, see Myth, legend, fairy tale, and fable. An anecdote is a short tale narrating an interesting or amusing biographical incident. It may be as brief as the… …   Wikipedia

  • Anecdote — Une anecdote célèbre : le vase de Soissons. Une anecdote du grec α préfixe privatif et εχδοτος : inédit, est une particularité historique, un trait de mœurs ou de caractère, un détail secondaire de l’action, une petite histoire qui se… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • anecdote — n. 1) to relate, tell an anecdote 2) a funny, witty; off color anecdote * * * [ ænɪkdəʊt] off color anecdote tell an anecdote witty a funny to relate …   Combinatory dictionary

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