Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Confidant

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The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is confidant. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

confidant is someone to whom secrets are entrusted, and especially a very close friend.

// She told only her closest confidant where she had buried the money.

// The longtime confidant of the disgraced mayor was also brought in for questioning.

CONFIDANT in Context

“Lee Strasberg, the Actors Studio director who was, with his wife, Paula, a confidant and caretaker of Marilyn Monroe, felt that an actor must plumb the depths of her psyche to find the emotional truth of a performance.” –James Sullivan, The Boston Globe, 20 Jan. 2022

Did You Know?

If you’re confident of the trustworthiness of your confidants, you’re tuned into the origins of the word confidant. The word comes, via French, from the Italian confidente, meaning “trusting, having trust in,” from Latin confīdere, meaning “to put one’s trust in, have confidence in.” Other descendants of confīdere in English include confide, confidence, confident, and confidential, all of which ultimately have Latin fīdere, meaning “to trust (in), rely (on),” as their root. Confidant (and its variant confidante, used especially of a woman) and confident are often confused, a topic about which we have plenty to say.

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