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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for credence


confidence, faith, stock, trust


distrust, mistrust

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

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 It was largely seen as a publicity stunt but earned the vice president credence from his boss. The Washington Post,, "Trump pulls Philadelphia Eagles' White House invitation," 5 June 2018 While the end-of-year prediction by bulls may still hold true, the declines that followed lent equal credence to bears., "Four Trends in Nine Weeks: Emerging Stocks on Roller Coaster," 5 Mar. 2018 Johnson, however, put more credence in Rialmo’s allegation that LeGrier swung the bat. Dan Hinkel,, "Trial opens in 2015 police shooting in which bat-wielding teen and bystander were killed," 18 June 2018 And when risks are more palpable, people tend to give them too much credence. The Economist, "A case for owning euro-zone shares," 9 June 2018 Kennedy’s willingness to acknowledge America’s flaws, and her ongoing struggle to live up to her ideals, added credence to his message. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: RFK’s speech in apartheid South Africa remains relevant 50 years after his assassination," 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about credence

Dictionary Entries near credence



Credé's method





Statistics for credence

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for credence

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for credence



English Language Learners Definition of credence

: belief that something is true

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on credence

What made you want to look up credence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!