cre·​dence | \ˈkrē-dᵊn(t)s \

Definition of credence 

1a : mental acceptance as true or real give credence to gossip

b : credibility sense 1 lends credence to the theory an idea that is gaining credence

2 : credentials used in the phrase letters of credence

3 [ 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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for credence


confidence, faith, stock, trust


distrust, mistrust

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.

Examples of credence in a Sentence

The theory is gaining credence among scientists. I'm afraid I don't put much credence in common gossip.

Recent Examples on the Web

This season’s races, which have drawn between 1,300 and 5,000 fans, lend credence to that theory, as does the gratitude Betteral and Bennett get from speedway regulars. Pat Muir, The Seattle Times, "Yakima Speedway: a throwback in danger of closing forever," 3 Sep. 2018 But what happened with Strzok and what happened with Ohr, these are unfortunate circumstances that do lend to people who were inclined to disbelieve what Mueller comes up with that lends credence to that concern. Fox News, "Former top intelligence officials come to Brennan's defense," 18 Aug. 2018 Blue-state liberals, especially those thinking about 2020 presidential runs, will want to use every procedural and public relations tool at their disposal to delay the vote, even if the charges against Kavanaugh don’t grow in credence. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Will a justice delayed be a justice denied?," 19 Sep. 2018 Two new studies lend scientific credence to my experience. Brad Stulberg, Outside Online, "Lifting Weights Helps Ease Anxiety and Depression," 5 July 2018 The win over Montini, the 2016 Class 3A state champion, was a confidence-booster for the Ramblers, lending credence to the notion that Loyola can compete with anyone. Steve Reaven,, "Loyola softball off to robust start thanks to high-powered offense," 20 Apr. 2018 The story comes from Spanish outlet AS and is given credence as the journalist responsible, Joaquin Maroto, is said to have close ties to Hierro and is with the squad in Russia., "Spain Boss Considers Benching David de Gea for World Cup Last 16 Tie in Bid to Solve Leaky Defence," 26 June 2018 The population shift could give credence to the argument that the city’s efforts to clear away downtown homeless camps last yearresulted in homeless people moving elsewhere. Gary Warth,, "Data shows homeless on the move in San Diego," 25 June 2018 But, in another perspective, 233 scientists are calling to restrict neonicotinoids, arguing that global environmental factors—not just human health—should be given credence in deciding how, and how much of, these agents are used. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Glyphosate is safe, but some scientists still question how we regulate it," 5 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of credence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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

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Dictionary Entries near credence



Credé's method





Statistics for credence

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for credence

The first known use of credence was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of credence

: belief that something is true

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

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Comments on credence

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living or existing for a long time

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