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Candor refers to the practice of honesty and sincerity in expression, and often implies a stance of fairness and impartiality in regard to fundamental assessments of people, their beliefs, and general issues of concern. It is often contrasted with practices of hypocrisy and deliberate deceitfulness.


  • Candor is a proof of both a just frame of mind, and of a good tone of breeding. It is a quality that belongs, equally to the honest man and to the gentleman: to the first, as doing to others as we would ourselves be done by; to the last, as indispensable to the liberality of the character.
    By candor we are not to understand trifling and uncalled for expositions of truth; but a sentiment that proves a conviction of the necessity of speaking truth, when speaking at all; a contempt for all designing evasions of our real opinions; and a deep conviction that he who deceives by necessary implication, deceives willfully.
    In all the general concerns, the publick has a right to be treated with candor. Without this manly and truly republican quality, republican because no power exists in the country to intimidate any from its exhibition, the institutions are converted into a stupendous fraud.
    • James Fenimore Cooper, "On Candor" in The American Democrat: or, Hints on the Social and Civic Relations of the United States of America (1838), p. 115
  • Candor is a compliment; it implies equality. It's how true friends talk.
    • Peggy Noonan, in What I Saw at the Revolution : A Political Life in the Reagan Era (1990), p. 321
  • Noble souls, whose brightness the greed of fortune cannot dim, have a kingly something, which urges them to contend on equal footing with persons of the most massive dignity and pits freedom of speech against arrogance.
    • Philo, Every Good Man is Free, 126
  • Innocence in genius, and candor in power, are both noble qualities.
  • Candor is always a double-edged sword; it may heal or it may separate.
  • Candor and generosity, unless tempered by due moderation, leads to ruin.
    • Tacitus, as quoted in Quote Junkie: Greek and Roman : An Interesting Collection of Quotes from the Greatest Greek and Roman Philosophers and Leaders (2008), edited by the Hagopian Institute, p. 62
  • How beautiful is candor! All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor.

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