noun cre·dence \ˈkrē-dən(t)s\

Definition of credence

  1. 1a :  mental acceptance as true or real give credence to gossipb :  credibility 1 lends credence to the theory an idea that is gaining credence

  2. 2 :  credentials —used in the phrase letters of credence

  3. 3 [Medieval French, from Old Italian credenza] :  a Renaissance sideboard used chiefly for valuable plate

  4. 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.

Did You Know?

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

First Known Use: 14th century

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


noun cre·dence \ˈkrē-dən(t)s\

Definition of credence for English Language Learners

  • : belief that something is true

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

Seen and Heard

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capable of being understood in two ways

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