Confident, Confidant, and Confidante

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
What are the differences between confident, confidant, and confidante?

A confidant or confidante is 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.)

Confident means being certain or assured; e.g., I am confident it will rain.

Confident, Confidant, and Confidante

Writers some confuse confident and confidant. These words look similar, but their meanings are very 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 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.

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


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

  • 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.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

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