Confident, Confidant, or Confidante?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Confident," "Confidant," and "Confidante"?

"Confident," "confidant," and "confidante" are easy to confuse because the spellings are so similar and they sound alike (i.e., they are nearly homonyms).
  • Confidant and Confidante. A "confidant" or "confidante" is a trusted person or someone to whom private matters are confided. (The words "confidant" and "confidante" are interchangeable, but strict grammarians reserve "confidant" for males and "confidante" for females.)
    • He is my closest confidant.
    • You can tell her. She is a confidante.
  • Confident. "Confident" means being certain or assured.
    • I am confident it will rain.
    • She is confident she will pass the exam.
confidant, confidante, or confident?

More about "Confident," "Confidant," and "Confidante"

Writers some confuse "confident" and "confidant." These words look similar, but their meanings are different. "Confidant" and "confidante" (both of which have French pronunciations) are interchangeable, but some like to use "confidant" for males and "confidante" for females.


The noun "confidant" refers to someone to whom private or personal matters are confided (i.e., someone trusted).

Example sentences with "confidant":
  • Finding a confidant can be difficult if you have a hard time placing trust in others.
  • An Egyptian believed to be a close confidant of Bin Laden has been killed in a drone strike.


Most people consider the word "confidante" to be an alternative spelling of "confidant." However, some contest that "confidante" is the female version of "confidant," which they reserve for males. If you know the "confidant" is a female, I would advise using "confidante."

Example sentences with "confidante":
  • My mother was my best friend and confidante. (Italian soprano Renata Tebaldi)
  • Being a publicist is like management in a lot of ways - you're their friend, you're their mother, you're their confidante. (Actress Debi Mazar)


The word "confident" is nearly always an adjective. Someone with confidence (i.e., not shy and with self-belief) is described as confident. Being confident also means to be assured or certain of something that is pending.

Example sentences with "confident":
  • My theory is that if you look confident you can pull off anything - even if you have no clue what you're doing. (Actress Jessica Alba)
  • No matter what a woman looks like, if she's confident, she's sexy. (Media personality Paris Hilton)
  • And in rejecting an atheistic other world, I am confident that the Almighty God will be with us. (President Herbert Hoover)

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See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? cannot or can not? who's or whose? What are adjectives? List of easily confused words

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