cre·​den·​tial | \ kri-ˈden(t)-shəl How to pronounce credential (audio) \

Definition of credential

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: warranting credit or confidence used chiefly in the phrase credential letters



Definition of credential (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : something that gives a title to credit or confidence also : qualification sense 3a the applicant with the best credentials
2 credentials plural : testimonials or certified documents showing that a person is entitled to credit or has a right to exercise official power a doctor's credentials


credentialed also credentialled; credentialing also credentialling

Definition of credential (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to furnish with credentials … to credential adequate academic performance …— K. Patricia Cross journalists who have been credentialed by the Secret Service

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for credential

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of credential in a Sentence

Noun My experience as a manager is my strongest credential.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Also with potential to hurt enrollment in short-term credential classes is the uncertainty of time available to take classes, Baber said. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "6 months to a good paying job? Short-term credentials try to fill void," 8 Oct. 2020 Like the current fall semester, some in-person classes will be held in the spring for short-term career credential and technical programs. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Hemingway bar, abandoned dog, blueberry trouble: News from around our 50 states," 22 Sep. 2020 The state office also had a credential clerk, certificate clerk, bookkeeper, and a stenographer. David Buie,, "Carroll Yesteryears: From one-room schoolhouses to integrated classes, much has changed in 100 years of education," 26 Sep. 2020 The council wants 60% of adults in the state to have a degree or credential by 2030, or roughly 2 million people. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "JCTC students can get break on tuition to attend Bellarmine through new partnership," 11 Sep. 2020 Turning multifactor authentication on thwarts most credential-harvesting attacks, Microsoft said. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Russian state hackers are targeting Biden and Trump campaigns, MSFT warns," 11 Sep. 2020 Recipients of the incentives will get $1,000 payments after completing courses and passing credential exams in the Virginia Community College System’s Fast Forward program. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Quarantine security, fireworks secret, strike teams: News from around our 50 states," 28 Aug. 2020 Recipients of the incentives will get $1,000 payments after completing courses and passing credential exams in the college system’s Fast Forward program. Washington Post, "Man dies after D.C. apartment fire," 22 Aug. 2020 Students will be able to apply the scholarship to a two-year college degree, technical credential or workforce certification at any Kentucky Community or Technical College or at Simmons College of Kentucky, Louisville's historically Black college. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Free college for all JCPS graduates will become reality with this new scholarship," 18 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The young Ginsburg taught at Rutgers, then Columbia, and founded the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union – a credential that might have kept her off the Supreme Court in today’s hyper-partisan political climate. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Second woman on Supreme Court had been nation's leading litigator for women's rights," 19 Sep. 2020 Whitmer has been working to increase the percentage of Michigan adults who have some sort of post-high school credential or degree, from 45% to 60%, by 2030. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "625,000 essential workers in Michigan eligible for free college: What to know," 10 Sep. 2020 To have 90% of our graduates earn an economically viable post-secondary credential and enter a career pathway. Dallas News, "Uplift Education," 6 Sep. 2020 All 365 players were tested upon arrival, and had to be negative to get a credential. Wayne Coffey, USA TODAY, "One player at U.S. Open tests positive, but protocols are 'buttoned up' tight," 31 Aug. 2020 Jones, 24, is one of thousands to receive a credential from KCTCS for the 2019-2020 academic year. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Community College System breaks record for credentials awarded," 28 Aug. 2020 If a coach or other guest of a player leaves the bubble, that credential will be revoked, and the coach or guest will be required to leave the tournament hotel within 24 hours. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Rafael Nadal Won’t Chase a Repeat of His U.S. Open Title," 4 Aug. 2020 Upon receipt of a negative result for the initial PCR test, Tier 1 individuals will then be allowed to pick up their tournament credential, which is needed to board a transportation bus and access to the National Tennis Center. Adam Baum, The Enquirer, "Western & Southern Open announces safety protocols, first positive COVID-19 test," 19 Aug. 2020 Gottlieb was never charged with wrongdoing, and in the campaign for elections supervisor cited her background on the School Board as a credential. Anthony Man,, "Voters want political newcomer as Broward elections supervisor and pick Link to run Palm Beach County elections," 18 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As attendees began lining up on the stairs lined with black candles by 10 p.m., the crowds were promptly credentialed and let inside. Rob Ledonne, Billboard, "Inside Republic Records' Post-Grammys Party: Diplo, Machine Gun Kelly & More Wear Their Sunday Best," 27 Jan. 2020 TruNews was also credentialed for the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, in June. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "White House reportedly credentialed outlet that called impeachment a 'Jew coup'," 22 Jan. 2020 The only constant is that a reporter or credentialed expert will authoritatively assert a theory as a fact and demonize those who disagree — only to be proven wrong tomorrow. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Our ‘Corona Project’," 28 Apr. 2020 The problem with the raid, however, was that the department sought the warrants without fully informing the judge that Carmody was a reporter even though he had been credentialed by the San Francisco Fire Department for 16 years. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "San Francisco agrees to pay $369K to reporter whose home was wrongfully raided by police," 1 Apr. 2020 Only lawmakers, staff, credentialed members of the press and those with official business are permitted to access the facilities. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "U.S. Capitol closed to public through April over coronavirus fears," 30 Mar. 2020 Employees, authorized visitors and credentialed Capitol Hill staff will continue to have access to the facilities, the library said. NBC News, "Coronavirus could 'wreak havoc' on U.S. jails, experts warn," 12 Mar. 2020 In addition, attendance at all UO home athletic events will be restricted primarily to participating student-athletes, essential personnel and credentialed media. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks home games to be spectator-free starting March 15," 12 Mar. 2020 Attendees will be limited to student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team and conference staff, television personnel, credentialed media and immediate family members of the participating teams. Adam Baum,, "Big East basketball tournament will restrict fans for remainder of games," 12 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'credential.' 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 credential


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1888, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for credential


see credence


see credence


see credence

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about credential

Time Traveler for credential

Time Traveler

The first known use of credential was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for credential

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Credential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for credential



English Language Learners Definition of credential

: a quality, skill, or experience that makes a person suited to do a job
: a document which shows that a person is qualified to do a particular job

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on credential

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!