Etymology
Advertisement
candidate (n.)

"person who seeks or is put forward for an office by election or appointment," c. 1600, from Latin candidatus "one aspiring to office," originally "white-robed," past participle of candidare "to make white or bright," from candidus past participle of candere "to shine," from PIE root *kand- "to shine." White was the usual color of the Roman toga, but office-seekers in ancient Rome wore a gleaming white toga (togacandida), probably whitened with fine powdered chalk, presumably to indicate the purity of their intentions in seeking a role in civic affairs.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
candidacy (n.)
"state of being a candidate," 1822; see candidate + abstract noun suffix -cy.
Related entries & more 
*kand- 
also *kend-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to shine."

It forms all or part of: candela; candelabrum; candescent; candid; candidate; candle; candor; chandelier; chandler; frankincense; incandescence; incandescent; incendiary; incense (n.) "substance producing a sweet smell when burned;" incense (v.1) "to provoke, anger."

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit cand- "to give light, shine," candra- "shining, glowing, moon;" Greek kandaros "coal;" Latin candere "to shine;" Welsh cann "white," Middle Irish condud "fuel."
Related entries & more 
postulant (n.)

1759, "one who or that which demands or asks; candidate for membership in a religious order during the probationary period," from French postulant "applicant, candidate," literally "one who asks," from Latin postulantem (nominative postulans), present participle of postulare "to ask, demand" (see postulate (v.)).

Related entries & more 
applicant (n.)
"one who applies, candidate," late 15c., from Latin applicantem (nominative applicans), present participle of applicare "attach to, join, connect" (see apply).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
nominee (n.)

1660s, "person named or designated" for something; see nominate + -ee. Specific sense of "person named as a candidate" is attested from 1680s.

Related entries & more 
Manchuria 

large part of China east of Mongolia and north of Korea, named for the Manchu (literally "pure") people + -ia. Related: Manchurian. Manchurian Candidate is 1959 as a novel, 1962 as a film.

Related entries & more 
flummox (v.)
1837, cant word, also flummux, of uncertain origin, probably risen out of a British dialect (OED finds candidate words in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, southern Cheshire, and Sheffield). "The formation seems to be onomatopœic, expressive of the notion of throwing down roughly and untidily" [OED]. Related: Flummoxed; flummoxing.
Related entries & more 
aspirant (n.)
"one who aspires, one who seeks advancement," 1738, from French aspirant "a candidate," noun use of a present participle, from Latin aspirantem (nominative aspirans), present participle of aspirare "breathe at, blow upon," figuratively strive for, aspire to" (see aspire).
Related entries & more 
plurality (n.)

late 14c., pluralite, "state of being more than one; a number greater than one," from Old French pluralite (14c.), from Late Latin pluralitatem (nominative pluralitas) "the plural number," from Latin pluralis "of or belonging to more than one" (see plural). Meaning "fact of there being many, multitude" is from mid-15c. Church sense of "holding of two or more offices concurrently" is from mid-14c. Meaning "greater number, more than half" is from 1570s but is etymologically improper, perhaps modeled on majority. U.S. sense of "excess of votes for the candidate who receives the most over those of rival candidate(s)," especially when none has an absolute majority, is from 1828.

Related entries & more