Confident is how you feel on a good hair day, but a confidant is the person you tell when you're secretly wearing a wig. It's no wonder that these words are so easily confused: they were once both confident.
If you're looking and feeling good, you're confident. Confident is a feeling of self-reliance or of certainty about something. It comes from Middle French, confident, which in turn comes from Latin, cōnfidentem, meaning "trusting or bold." If you're not confident, you turn tail and go home. Hold your head up high to read these confident examples:
He appeared confident that he could get to any spot, setting up lanes by running with patience and vision. (New York Times)
Both camps say they are confident of winning. (Reuters)
A confidant, with an a, is the person you trust to spill your guts to. It also comes from the French confident, which came from the Latin confidente, for "a trusted friend." Confidante has been used to refer to a female trusted friend, parallel to the French confidente, but that usage has fallen largely out of favor as an unnecessary feminine version, like authoress. You can add that e if you want, either way say it with a sultry French accent:
They were friends, confidants, inseparable companions as well. (Frederick William Robinson)
"I'm not talking about just two or three of my closest confidants." (New York Times)
Try remembering that if you are confident, the person you believe in is "me." If you have a confidant, you are putting your trust in another. If you're confident your friend won't tell all your business, she can be your confidant.
A confidant is the person you tell your secrets to. Your confidant has all the dirt on you, so don't forget his birthday or he might start talking... Continue reading...
If you're a confidante, two things must be true: you have to be female, and you must be someone who people feel comfortable telling secrets to. Continue reading...