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

Examples of credential in a Sentence

Noun My experience as a manager is my strongest credential.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective By far the most common tool for credential dumping was created in 2012 by a French security researcher named Benjamin Delpy and is known as Mimikatz. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "Hacker Lexicon: What Is Credential Dumping?," 7 July 2019 For accounts that require only a user name and password, hackers turn to free downloadable tools such as Sentry MBA or Hitman, known as credential stuffers. Robert Mcmillan, WSJ, "Thieves Can Now Nab Your Data in a Few Minutes for a Few Bucks," 9 Dec. 2018 But the real victims of this credential inflation are the two-thirds of millennials who didn’t go to college. Michelle Legro, Longreads, "The Downwardly Mobile Generation," 19 Dec. 2017 As school districts face fierce competition for teachers, the Natomas Unified School District is offering to cover most credential program costs, provide free use of a Macbook and give bonus pay for living within district boundaries. Diana Lambert, sacbee, "This school district is offering new teacher bonuses and credential tuition payments," 1 Nov. 2017 This school district is offering new teacher bonuses and credential tuition payments Sacramento school board authorizes campus closures and removal of pickets if teachers strike Never miss a local story. Ryan Lillis, sacbee, "Mayor says Sacramento teacher strike 'would be really damaging to everyone' | The Sacramento Bee," 3 Nov. 2017 From 1985 to 1988, Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese—an early supporter of the society—helped groom and credential young conservative lawyers by giving key positions in the Justice Department to early leaders of the society. Neal Devins, Slate Magazine, "How the Federalist Society became the de facto selector of Republican Supreme Court justices.," 31 Jan. 2017 States now credential interior designers, tree trimmers, and even florists. Edward L. Glaeser, National Review, "The War on Work — and How to End It," 1 Aug. 2017 Last day of classes May 13-19: Semester exams May 19: Honors and scholars awards ceremony, ROTC Commissioning and Teacher Credential Ceremony May 20-21: Commencement exercises. Wendy Fawthrop, Orange County Register, "CSUF graduating students get a jump on real-world jobs," 9 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Perhaps that is why billionaires are tolerated even by countries with impeccable social-democratic credentials: Sweden and Norway have more billionaires per person than America does. The Economist, "Billionaires are only rarely policy failures," 9 Nov. 2019 Making that a reality would require putting degrees on a level playing field with other credentials and professionally devised employment tests. Frederick M. Hess, National Review, "Break Up the B.A. Cartel," 7 Nov. 2019 There are quarterbacks with less impressive credentials who’ve won. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Can Lamar Jackson actually win MVP? That and other burning Ravens questions, answered.," 6 Nov. 2019 After getting bumped last week due to the World Series, the show roared back with a double-elimination that sent home two stars with deep-bench television credentials. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "'The Masked Singer' Unmasks 2 Celebrities: Black Widow Speaks & Reveals Who Knew It Was Her All Along," 6 Nov. 2019 After winning the main documentary prize at the BFI London Film Festival last month, White Riot should have enough positive buzz and timely resonance to grab more festival slots, with solid credentials for big or small screen interest. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'White Riot': Film Review | London 2019," 1 Nov. 2019 Keep an eye on the defense: Many freshmen and JC transfers come to college basketball with serious offensive credentials, and Oregon State’s newcomers are no different. oregonlive, "Oregon State wraps up men’s basketball exhibition season with a 96-45 win over Warner Pacific: Eight takeaways," 29 Oct. 2019 Millsap begins his 14th NBA season with credentials most players would envy. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Why Paul Millsap and Jerami Grant bring needed balance to Nuggets frontcourt," 20 Oct. 2019 Not every player with his credentials and NFL aspirations would accept such an arrangement. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s Baron Browning went from feeling abandoned in Columbus to a blazing young bull," 10 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There are 130,000 people who will attend the two games this weekend, with nearly 400 credentialed reporters, with the games televised in 170 countries. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Here comes the Yankees and Red Sox, but for now, London doesn’t seem to notice," 27 June 2019 Carmody has also been credentialed by the San Francisco Police Department as a member of the press. Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, "A judge signed a warrant to search a journalist. But police didn’t tell her the whole story.," 23 July 2019 Both league football operations and security work closely with the host team to ensure those credentialed to be on the field have a working function. Los Angeles Times, "Ask Farmer: How did the term ‘punter’ originate?," 8 Sep. 2019 At the start of the conference, not all 28 EU countries had been fully credentialed. National Geographic, "8 takeaways from the most important wildlife event you’ve never heard of," 30 Aug. 2019 Related Stories The deal would also require new charter school teachers to be credentialed, and that all current teachers earn credentials within five years. Dustin Gardiner,, "California lawmakers, Newsom agree to major changes for charter schools," 28 Aug. 2019 Last month's All-Star Game in Las Vegas credentialed 41% more media members than in 2018 and 81% more than in 2017. Ben Strauss,, "The WNBA has craved mainstream attention. This season, it might be turning a corner.," 9 Aug. 2019 Roughly 1,000 media members were credentialed to cover the event, likely a record number. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Zion Williamson makes thrilling Summer League debut before earthquake hits. Michael Porter Jr. can only watch.," 5 July 2019 Renata Evans, who was properly credentialed for clubhouse access, said her ID was checked multiple times before she was allowed to enter the clubhouse. Anna Bauman, Detroit Free Press, "Warren Evans writes on Facebook about 'disrespectful' employee at RMC," 29 June 2019

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

Statistics for credential

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for credential

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

See more words from the same century

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).


to speed up the process or progress of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!