Definition of anecdotal in English:



  • 1(of an account) not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research.

    ‘while there was much anecdotal evidence there was little hard fact’
    ‘these claims were purely anecdotal’
    • ‘Until recently, documentation of elevated cancer rates in the area was limited to such anecdotal accounts.’
    • ‘This paper therefore is based mainly on my own thoughtful experience and informal anecdotal research.’
    • ‘Historic accounts of this era give no indication of any negative impact to fish populations and in fact, anecdotal accounts reflect quite the opposite.’
    • ‘Early accounts were mainly anecdotal, reported by clinicians and interpreted mainly as psychodynamic processes occurring during early development.’
    • ‘Theory is paraded as fact, anecdotal accounts as hard data.’
    • ‘There is a reliable anecdotal account that, in my opinion, gives a partial answer to the question.’
    • ‘The evidence so far is anecdotal rather than statistical, but the trend can't be denied, he says.’
    • ‘Wisely, Shakeshaft does not base her conclusions on evidence that comes so close to anecdotal accounts.’
    • ‘His team culled anecdotal accounts on videoconferencing and case studies of various applications of the technology.’
    • ‘Nursing literature is full of anecdotal accounts of the distant approach that doctors have towards patients and their carers.’
    • ‘To date, the social science literature on New Age phenomena has been dominated by case studies and anecdotal accounts.’
    • ‘Insights, while not necessarily inaccurate, are frequently based on anecdotal evidence and hence impressionistic.’
    • ‘It is a fluent and largely anecdotal account, which captures the woman and her work most vividly.’
    • ‘Much of the information and government decisions concerning goldenseal are based on anecdotal rather than quantitative information on population status.’
    • ‘Instead of relying on anecdotal accounts, psychologists could provide better information to assist the resolution of such a case.’
    • ‘Having regard to both personal experience and anecdotal evidence, I suspect that the answers to these two questions are YES and NO respectively.’
    • ‘Reviewers of manuscripts sometimes reject research because it is anecdotal, based on a case study, or founded on too small a sample and therefore not generalizable.’
    • ‘Some effect measurements are based on anecdotal evidence.’
    • ‘I have my own theories on this, but they are based purely on anecdotal evidence.’
    • ‘In contrast to this scholarly account, the evocatively-entitled Tin Horns and Calico is a lively account, based on anecdotal information and data from private sources.’
    informal, unreliable, based on hearsay
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    1. 1.1 Characterized by or fond of telling anecdotes.
      ‘her book is anecdotal and chatty’
      • ‘Are we in for a pleasant, anecdotal account of Didion's family connections with a pioneering past, you wonder.’
      • ‘As with most actor commentaries, the former is more light and fluffy and anecdotal, while the latter is more technically-oriented.’
      • ‘Other exceptional sherpas are given their place in the sun too in a narrative that has no great pretensions to literary skill or scholarship, but is enthusiastic and often wonderfully anecdotal.’
      • ‘I have tried to introduce personal anecdotal narrative into the book because I became very involved in my investigation into the naturopath.’
      • ‘I have quoted part of the petition at length, because its anecdotal and tonal qualities are lost in summary.’
      • ‘What he writes about York corresponds uncannily with my memory of what actually happened and includes anecdotal material which I have not seen written down anywhere else.’
      • ‘The two tropes are geology and archaeology integrated into an anecdotal, memorialising narrative form that demands admiration for its adroitness.’
      • ‘The Trade Center attack will not alter the autobiographical, anecdotal, therapeutic poems of the workshops; it will merely add another subject.’
      • ‘Many of them are anecdotal and the poem, ‘Making Sambar’ could well have been featured as a ‘middle’ on the editorial page of a newspaper.’
      • ‘David Gordon Green and Jamie Bell deliver an amusing and anecdotal commentary, relaying the many misadventures that took place in the production.’
      • ‘In the late, anecdotal tradition he is credited with introducing suspension of judgment.’
      • ‘She previews this approach to war in her short, anecdotal work Paris France, written just before Mrs. Reynolds and Wars I Have Seen.’
      • ‘The narrative is tangential and anecdotal, a linear mosaic of small failures and smaller successes, interspersed with laugh out loud one-liners.’
      • ‘He elicited and compared details and wrote up his findings almost immediately in a highly readable, anecdotal narrative style.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, most writings on Katchor emphasize literary and anecdotal content over artistry.’
      • ‘Most of the articles have serious points to make, and only J. T. Bonner's amusing essay largely devoted to his social encounters with Haldane is purely anecdotal.’
      • ‘In a witty, anecdotal and at times serious speech, Pierce said he was the eldest male member of a family of eight - seven boys and a girl.’
      • ‘Born to Buy would have benefited from more narrative, anecdotal sugar in the form of compelling characters to make the medicine go down.’
      • ‘While anecdotal, the narrative captures what is probably a common experience of those participating in discipline-based PFF programs.’
      • ‘I suspect that The Edifice Complex is so readable because his scholarly theme, brilliantly researched, is well peppered with anecdotal insights.’
    2. 1.2attributive (of a painting) depicting small narrative incidents.
      ‘nineteenth-century French anecdotal paintings’
      • ‘During the 1940s, Haley began writing short anecdotal sketches about the coastguard, some of which he published in Coronet magazine.’
      • ‘Schad's graphic work, often anecdotal and illustrational, is evocative of George Grosz but without the muscle.’
      • ‘From elegant trapeze artists to humorous anecdotal scenes of circus life on a shoestring budget, you can see why Camille is tempted to join Petra and run away with the circus.’
      • ‘Critics blithely ignorant of its subject matter routinely dismiss western art as purely anecdotal.’
      • ‘The impeccable and perceptive draughtsman Ingres is represented by one of the anecdotal pictures in which he delighted, The Betrothal of Raphael, and the last of his four versions of Oedipus and the Sphinx.’
      • ‘Over the next 20 years his anecdotal paintings of peasant life, based on a close study of Dutch 17th-century genre painters, were universally admired.’
      • ‘The film combines anecdotal minimalism with extremely careful attention to the image and the actors - with a single exception, all non-professional.’
      • ‘It is their freedom from the traditional literary, anecdotal, or moralistic associations of painting that has caused him to be regarded as one of the pioneers of modern art.’
      narrative, full of stories, crammed with incident, packed with incident
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