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 anekdota "things unpublished," neuter plural of anekdotos, from an- "not" (see AN- (Cf.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" (see DATE (Cf. date) (1)).
Procopius' 6c. Anecdota, unpublished memoirs of Emperor Justinian full of court gossip, gave the word a sense of "revelation of secrets," which decayed in English to "brief, amusing stories" (1761).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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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 Unpublished narratives.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 — *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 ORIGIN from Greek anekdota things unpublished …   English terms dictionary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 of anekdotos, unpublished 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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