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.

Examples of credenza in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Agyemang incorporated those cues via statement pieces made out of natural materials like an oak credenza designed by Leanne Ford for Crate and Barrel, and a white marble plinth coffee table to center the main area. Indya Brown, Essence, 5 June 2024 Its inventory includes a vintage lacquered credenza for more than $2,000. Sophia Solano, Washington Post, 7 Mar. 2024 Piper recalls one client who didn’t know what to do with a mid-century credenza. Jenna Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 23 Feb. 2024 Nicole Dianne Photography In the entry, the dark front door was replaced and a floating credenza and mirror were added. Sarah Yang, Sunset Magazine, 25 Oct. 2023 On July 30, the server opened the restaurant for breakfast with a manager who uncovered the credenza on the rooftop portion of the restaurant. Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times, 4 Dec. 2023 The house welcomes with a turquoise shiplap ceiling and a pair of teal lamps on the credenza. Krissa Rossbund, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Aug. 2023 Baldessari’s screenprint Two Sunsets (One With Square Blue Moon) hangs above a vintage woodworking table, discovered at Amsterdam Modern, that serves as a credenza. Abigail Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Oct. 2023 In Gill’s entryway, a small stool serves as seating, and shoes either go inside a rolling basket on the floor or get concealed behind the closed doors of a credenza. Annie Midori Atherton, Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'credenza.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on credenza

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