noun cre·dence \ ˈkrē-dᵊn(t)s \
|Updated on: 11 Aug 2018

Definition of credence

1 a : mental acceptance as true or real
  • give credence to gossip
b : credibility 1
  • lends credence to the theory
  • an idea that is gaining credence
2 : credentials used in the phrase letters of credence
[Middle French, from Old Italian credenza]
: a Renaissance sideboard used chiefly for valuable plate
4 : a small table where the bread and wine rest before consecration

Examples of credence in a Sentence

  1. The theory is gaining credence among scientists.

  2. I'm afraid I don't put much credence in common gossip.

Recent Examples of credence from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'credence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

What Is The Difference Between credence and belief?

Credence is close in meaning to belief, but there are differences. Unlike belief, credence is seldom used in connection with faith in a religion or philosophy. Instead credence is often used in reference to reports, rumors, and opinions. And, unlike belief, it tends to be used with the words give, lack, lend,and gain. So a new piece of evidence may lend credence to the alibi of a criminal suspect. Claims that a political candidate can become the next President gain credence only after the candidate wins a few primaries. And although stories about Elvis sightings persist, they lack credence for most people.

Origin and Etymology of credence

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin credentia, from Latin credent-, credens, present participle of credere to believe, trust — more at creed

Synonym Discussion of credence

belief, faith, credence, credit mean assent to the truth of something offered for acceptance. belief may or may not imply certitude in the believer.
    • my belief that I had caught all the errors
faith almost always implies certitude even where there is no evidence or proof.
    • an unshakable faith in God
credence suggests intellectual assent without implying anything about grounds for assent.
    • a theory now given credence by scientists
credit may imply assent on grounds other than direct proof.
    • gave full credit to the statement of a reputable witness

CREDENCE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of credence for English Language Learners

  • : belief that something is true

  • : the quality of being believed or accepted as something true or real

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excessive admiration or flattery

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