cre·​den·​za | \ kri-ˈden-zə How to pronounce credenza (audio) \

Definition of credenza

2 : a sideboard, buffet, or bookcase patterned after a Renaissance credence especially : one without legs

Illustration of credenza

Illustration of credenza

credenza 2

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Did you know?

In Italian credenza means “belief” or “confidence,” and confidence is just what a member of a noble or royal household needed before eating in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Being poisoned by one’s enemies was an ever-present danger. As a result, it was customary for members of royal or noble families to have a servant taste their food and drink after it left the kitchen and before it was served. The tasting was done at a dining room sideboard, and the name of the sideboard became credenza in Italian.

Examples of credenza in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Marijuana is increasingly taking a place alongside Johnny Walker and Yellow Tail on the credenza—no longer stashed away in a drawer within. R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American, 20 Oct. 2017 The sharks in the game are right at home with a 4-foot-long handmade shark lamp on an ocean blue credenza in the room. Dalton Ross,, 5 July 2021 There's also the Nuage chaise, where what looks like a sideboard credenza has an articulating cushion structure that converts it from a perching point for meetings or dinner to a fully adjustable chaise longue. John Walton, CNN, 24 May 2021 The house welcomes with a turquoise shiplap ceiling and a pair of teal lamps on the credenza. Krissa Rossbund, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 May 2021 Lastly, a credenza is always a good call in a living room—either beside the stairs or behind a floating sofa—as a landing place for any items that need to be stored away. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 9 Dec. 2020 Want your credenza to look like Meghan and Harry's? Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, 25 Sep. 2020 Custom shelving, inspired by a mid-century modern credenza, completes the look. Monique Valeris, Good Housekeeping, 10 Sep. 2020 So while the Staccato dresser is an original (as is the gondola sofa in the master and the credenza in the living room), there are also plenty of reproductions scattered throughout. Richard A. Marini,, 1 Sep. 2020

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

1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for credenza

Italian, literally, belief, confidence, from Medieval Latin credentia

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Time Traveler for credenza

Time Traveler

The first known use of credenza was in 1880

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Dictionary Entries Near credenza

credentials committee



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Last Updated

2 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Credenza.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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