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

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Synonyms for credential

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of credential in a Sentence

Noun My experience as a manager is my strongest credential.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Despite her credential, she wasn’t granted the same access as her male colleagues. Ann Killion,, "How the A’s traveling secretary helped blow up MLB’s barrier to women reporters," 31 Dec. 2020 Or would a different health-care credential suit your life better now? The Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax Live: 'You are freaking warriors'," 4 Dec. 2020 Sometimes, these intangible qualities within you weigh infinitely more than some credential on paper ever could. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, "I bashed my manager in an email to a co-worker… and my boss found out: Ask HR," 24 Nov. 2020 Residents who are Real ID compliant may be able to renew their credential online. Washington Post, "Here are answers to your questions about conducting DMV business during the pandemic," 14 Nov. 2020 Enrollment in short-term credential classes during the pandemic increased by 70% to nearly 8 million over the same period last year, according to Jonathan Finkelstein, chief executive of Credly, a digital credentialing network. Wsj Noted., WSJ, "Millennials and Gen Z Are Rethinking the Value of a College Education," 18 Nov. 2020 But for too many, earning a credential or degree after high school comes with a mountain of debt or is out of reach altogether. Alison Medley, Chron, "Student debt forgiveness could be a reality under a Biden administration," 12 Nov. 2020 One of the latest offers to buy access to Robinhood accounts came Wednesday with each credential available for as little as $3.50. Sophie Alexander,, "Dark Web Hackers Say They Hold Keys to 10,000 Robinhood Accounts," 30 Oct. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For American women in public office, being a mother has become a powerful but tricky credential. New York Times, "Why ‘Supermom’ Gets Star Billing on Résumés for Public Office," 14 Oct. 2020 Six years later in 2019, just 30 of them had earned a degree or other credential. John Wisely, Detroit Free Press, "Report: More metro Detroit high school grads are not college ready," 3 Feb. 2021 Underscoring the unease Saturday was the arrest of a Virginia man who flashed an unauthorized inauguration credential at a checkpoint in Washington. Washington Post, "State capitols tighten security and brace for the unknown as far-right groups plot shows of strength," 16 Jan. 2021 Her appointment to the Supreme Court was Mr. Trump’s third, the most any president has had in a single term since Richard M. Nixon and an important credential for Republican voters who care about the judiciary. Peter Baker, New York Times, "In Swearing In Barrett, Trump Defiantly Mimics ‘Superspreader’ Rose Garden Ceremony," 26 Oct. 2020 After three years spent earning his teaching credential, Thompson opened his TaperNation Barber Academy for students last fall. Akilah Johnson, ProPublica, "How COVID-19 Hollowed Out a Generation of Young Black Men," 22 Dec. 2020 And then the credential seemed superfluous to the urgent task which lay before me each day, of slinging words together while on deadline. Leslie Camhi, Vogue, "Why I’m Using Dr. From Here on out," 17 Dec. 2020 People who are actually smart understand that being in possession of a credential is no proof of intelligence. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Jill Biden’s Doctorate Is Garbage Because Her Dissertation Is Garbage," 16 Dec. 2020 In Clarke County schools, 91% of students graduated within four years, while 68% earned a CCR credential. al, "Alabama high school graduation rate for class of 2019 hits 92%," 15 Dec. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for credential

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Credential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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

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