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 They were instead recorded, autoplaying videos advertising videogame cheats and hacks, sometimes attached to sketchy, credential-vacuuming websites. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "YouTube Gaming's Most-Watched Videos Are Dominated by Scams and Cheats," 18 Feb. 2020 The government subsidizes debt, colleges raise their prices, students are told to get more degrees, credential inflation kicks in, and taxpayers eat the losses. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Elizabeth Warren Meets an Irate Dad," 25 Jan. 2020 The roundtable takes place Jan. 26 at 3 p.m., and the Snowball Showcase takes over The Shop on Jan. 28, with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. Both events are open to all festival credential holders. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Lisa Loeb to Headline BMI's Snowball Showcase at Sundance Film Festival," 9 Jan. 2020 The main purpose of the Ivy Plus universities and schools like them is not to credential young people. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, "Is Meritocracy Making Everyone Miserable?," 23 Sep. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Whitmer has been working to increase percent of adults with some sort of post-high school credential or degree in the state from 45% to 60% by 2030. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "Essential workers to get free college under new Whitmer plan," 29 Apr. 2020 No email, no SMTP relay, just put in your credentials and go—and have the images show up exactly where a ChromeOS user will be looking for them in the first place! Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "We put the paper back into a ChromeOS paperless office," 24 Apr. 2020 The Hacker News recommends either using the Windows security policy settings to turn off the automatic transmission of NTML credentials to a remote server, or else just use the Zoom client for the Web. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Update: Zoom issues fix for UNC vulnerability that lets hackers steal Windows credentials via chat," 2 Apr. 2020 Critics found multiple instances where Raval failed to properly attribute code and questioned his lack of credentials. Dan Garisto/undark, Popular Science, "YouTube science videos are riddled with scams, plagiarism, and misinformation," 9 Mar. 2020 Child-welfare advocates criticized McKay’s lack of social-work and human-services credentials, and criticized the former police detective for limiting public oversight and transparency. Arizona Republic, "Audit: Arizona Department of Child Safety doesn't give foster parents information needed to keep kids safe," 18 Oct. 2019 The chance to win a Super Bowl, to lock down Hall of Fame credentials. Cindy Boren,, "Randy Moss’ advice for Antonio Brown: ‘Put up or shut up’ in New England," 8 Sep. 2019 But his education credentials were slim; his Vision to Learn philanthropy had provided eyeglasses to hundreds of thousands of students in schools across the country since 2012. Los Angeles Times, "Column: L.A. schools chief Austin Beutner is performing admirably. But what comes after coronavirus?," 13 Apr. 2020 Meanwhile, the Chinese action applies to Americans whose credentials are due to expire by the end of the year. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "China takes another swipe at US media as NYT, WSJ and Washington Post pen open letter to Beijing," 24 Mar. 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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The first known use of credential was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Credential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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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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