cre·​den·​za kri-ˈden-zə How to pronounce credenza (audio)
: a sideboard, buffet, or bookcase patterned after a Renaissance credence
especially : one without legs

Illustration of credenza

Illustration of credenza
  • credenza 2

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.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The media credenza is by Universal Furniture, and the coffee table is Ballard Designs. Allison Duncan, House Beautiful, 29 July 2022 Then place a narrow credenza or console table behind the sofa. Mimi Montgomery, Washington Post, 13 July 2022 Optimize your storage while elevating the look of your home with this two-tone credenza from Walker Edison, which has secured an Amazon badge. Emily Belfiore, Travel + Leisure, 13 June 2022 Here, the exquisite marble from the lobby floors carries through to a long, eye-catching credenza, which acts as a buffet for morning breakfasts, afternoon tea, or evening cocktails. Dan Koday, Travel + Leisure, 31 May 2022 The candidate should always appear with people — talking, listening, shaking hands — except when speaking directly to the viewer, which should be done from a living room, with a credenza cluttered with family photos in the background. New York Times, 22 Mar. 2022 Plus, this credenza is a whopping 62 percent off, designed with three spacious shelves to showcase lamps, plants, books, and more. Amy Schulman,, 20 Feb. 2022 Previously, as president, Trump had kept the replica on the credenza in the private dining room just off the Oval Office, next to some challenge coins he had been given. Arkansas Online, 10 Feb. 2022 This could be a square on an entire wall or, like shown above, an empty space above a dresser or credenza. Kristin Scharkey, Sunset Magazine, 8 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of credenza was in 1880

Dictionary Entries Near credenza

Cite this Entry

“Credenza.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on credenza

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