Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

candidate - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable]     candidate pronunciation in American English
/ˈkændɪˌdeɪt/    candidate pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
Related words
  1. 1
    one of the people competing in an election

    the Democratic/Republican candidate

    1. a.
      one of the people competing for a job

      The candidate must demonstrate good communication skills.

      candidate for:

      There were two candidates for the position.

    2. b.
      one of the people competing for a prize
      candidate for:

      She was asked to read out the list of candidates for the award for best actor.

  2. 2
    a person or thing that is likely to do or be something

    They needed a location for the movie, and the church was the obvious candidate.

    candidate for:

    This encounter is a candidate for the tournament’s most exciting game.

    a prime candidate (=very likely to do something):

    She looks like a prime candidate for a nervous breakdown.


Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play