cred·​it | \ ˈkre-dit How to pronounce credit (audio) \

Definition of credit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : reliance on the truth or reality of something gave credit to everything he said Give no credit to idle rumors.
2a : the balance in a person's favor in an account
b : an amount or sum placed at a person's disposal by a bank
c : the provision of money, goods, or services with the expectation of future payment long-term credit also : money, goods, or services so provided They exhausted their credit.
d(1) : an entry on the right-hand side of an account constituting an addition to a revenue, net worth, or liability account
(2) : a deduction from an expense or asset account
e : any one of or the sum of the items entered on the right-hand side of an account
f : a deduction from an amount otherwise due
3a : influence or power derived from enjoying the confidence of another or others
b : good name : esteem also : financial or commercial trustworthiness
4 archaic : credibility
5 : a source of honor a credit to the school
6a : something that gains or adds to reputation or esteem : honor He took no credit for his kindly act.
b : recognition, acknowledgment quite willing to accept undeserved credit
7 : recognition by name of a person contributing to a performance (such as a film or telecast) the opening credits
8a : recognition by a school or college that a student has fulfilled a requirement leading to a degree
b : credit hour earned 15 credits last semester


credited; crediting; credits

Definition of credit (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to trust in the truth of : believe find his story hard to credit
2 : to supply goods on credit to
3 archaic : to bring credit or honor upon
4a : to enter upon the credit side of an account
b : to place an amount to the credit of credit his account with ten dollars
5a : to consider usually favorably as the source, agent, or performer of an action or the possessor of a trait credits him with an excellent sense of humor
b : to attribute to some person They credit the invention to him.

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Synonyms for credit

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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belief, faith, credence, credit mean assent to the truth of something offered for acceptance. belief may or may not imply certitude in the believer. my belief that I had caught all the errors faith almost always implies certitude even where there is no evidence or proof. an unshakable faith in God credence suggests intellectual assent without implying anything about grounds for assent. a theory now given credence by scientists credit may imply assent on grounds other than direct proof. gave full credit to the statement of a reputable witness

influence, authority, prestige, weight, credit mean power exerted over the minds or behavior of others. influence may apply to a force exercised and received consciously or unconsciously. used her influence to get the bill passed authority implies the power of winning devotion or allegiance or of compelling acceptance and belief. his opinions lacked authority prestige implies the ascendancy given by conspicuous excellence or reputation for superiority. the prestige of the newspaper weight implies measurable or decisive influence in determining acts or choices. their wishes obviously carried much weight credit suggests influence that arises from the confidence of others. his credit with the press


ascribe, attribute, assign, impute, credit mean to lay something to the account of a person or thing. ascribe suggests an inferring or conjecturing of cause, quality, authorship. forged paintings formerly ascribed to masters attribute suggests less tentativeness than ascribe, less definiteness than assign. attributed to Rembrandt but possibly done by an associate assign implies ascribing with certainty or after deliberation. assigned the bones to the Cretaceous period impute suggests ascribing something that brings discredit by way of accusation or blame. tried to impute sinister motives to my actions credit implies ascribing a thing or especially an action to a person or other thing as its agent, source, or explanation. credited his teammates for his success

Examples of credit in a Sentence

Noun banks that extend credit to the public You need to have a strong credit history and a good job in order to get a mortgage. A credit of $50 was added to your account. All the credit must go to the play's talented director. She's finally getting the credit she deserves. He shared the credit with his parents. You've got to give her credit; she knows what she's doing. Verb Your payment of $38.50 has been credited to your account. The bank is crediting your account for the full amount. They credited the rescue to his quick thinking.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Georgia runoff shows that climate activists are more practical and strategic than Democrats give them credit for. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "The Pragmatism of the Radical Climate Left," 30 Dec. 2020 If your teen helps their sibling or does something else positive, give them credit. Katia Hetter, CNN, "How to help teens cope in a global pandemic," 23 Dec. 2020 Businesses would still be able to take a 10% tax credit after that. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "Riding the 'solar coaster': Tax credits could be extended as part of COVID-19 relief bill," 21 Dec. 2020 Mackey was quick to give credit to colleagues at the state department of education, working behind the scenes. al, "AL Superintendent Eric Mackey: “Maybe for the first time... people really do understand” educators," 18 Dec. 2020 Another objective analysis that with the exception of that BYU outlier does not give much credit to Group of Five programs. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Would Ohio State football still make the College Football Playoff based on computer rankings?," 18 Dec. 2020 Regulators can give banks credit for policing themselves, and Nguyen decided that would hold true in the Chase matter, regulatory officials said. Patrick Rucker, ProPublica, "JPMorgan Chase Bank Wrongly Charged 170,000 Customers Overdraft Fees. Federal Regulators Refused to Penalize It.," 14 Dec. 2020 History will record it as such, though the media will try to give the incoming Biden administration the credit. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Weekly Trump Report Card: Vaccine historic, Supreme Court try not so," 12 Dec. 2020 Maybe the Huskies were sluggish, out of sorts, but give credit to CCSU coach Donyell Marshall. Dom Amore,, "UConn men have to get ready quickly for UHart, and other takeaways from the Huskies’ season-opening win over CCSU," 26 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Investors and analysts credit China’s quick recovery from the new coronavirus, Chinese drinkers’ growing thirst for pricier drinks, and some smart corporate initiatives for the hot streak. Chong Koh Ping, WSJ, "China’s Liquor Giants Intoxicate Investors," 22 Dec. 2020 Observers credit his clear message of change, high name recognition, appeal to Black voters and strong volunteer base for what many said was a surprise victory for the former front-runner that ended up having to fight from behind. Matt Sledge,, "How did Jason Williams win big in New Orleans DA race? A grassroots army, drumbeat of 'change'," 12 Dec. 2020 Many historians credit the accomplishment with shortening the war and preventing many thousands of deaths. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Rusty but intact: Nazi Enigma cipher machine found in Baltic Sea," 4 Dec. 2020 Most analysts credit the administration’s tax cuts — signed into law in 2017 — for a significant part of the gains. Matt Phillips, New York Times, "Markets Throw a Welcome Party of Sorts for Biden," 24 Nov. 2020 Sales may have increased due to new requirements to purchase passes ahead of time, but some experts still credit the demand to a desire to get outdoors this winter after pandemic lockdowns. Sorell Grow, The Christian Science Monitor, "Ski resorts expect a busy season. Can they find enough workers?," 19 Nov. 2020 Many also credit the president with helping to pull vulnerable Republican Senate incumbents to re-election in South Carolina, Iowa and other states. Steven T. Dennis,, "GOP Silence Leaves Trump Raging Mostly Alone Against Biden," 7 Nov. 2020 Many folks credit the Colts and the dynamic of having African American athletes on the team as a major impetus in the desegregation of Westminster. Kevin Dayhoff,, "Dayhoff: Carroll County NAACP enters its third decade of leadership," 6 Nov. 2020 If Trevor Bauer surprised the baseball industry and opted to sign a new contract with the Cincinnati Reds this offseason, the Reds can credit his comfort level during the 2020 season. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "Trevor Bauer says season with Cincinnati Reds was most fun he's had 'probably since college'," 23 Oct. 2020

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


1529, in the meaning defined at sense 3


circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for credit


Middle French, from Old Italian credito, from Latin creditum something entrusted to another, loan, from neuter of creditus, past participle of credere to believe, entrust — more at creed


partly from credit entry 1; partly from Latin creditus, past participle — see credit entry 1

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Time Traveler for credit

Time Traveler

The first known use of credit was in 1529

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Statistics for credit

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Credit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for credit


How to pronounce credit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of credit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: money that a bank or business will allow a person to use and then pay back in the future
: a record of how well you have paid your bills in the past
: an amount of money that is added to an account



English Language Learners Definition of credit (Entry 2 of 2)

: to add (an amount of money) to a total
: to add money to (an account)
: to give honor or recognition to (someone or something) for doing something or for making something happen


cred·​it | \ ˈkre-dət How to pronounce credit (audio) \

Kids Definition of credit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : recognition or honor received for some quality or work A doctor was given credit for the discovery. She got extra credit for her report.
2 : the balance in an account in a person's favor
3 : money or goods or services allowed to a person by a bank or business with the expectation of payment later
4 : good reputation especially for honesty : high standing
5 : a source of honor or pride You are a credit to your school.
6 : a unit of schoolwork I took two credits in Spanish.
7 : belief or trust in the truth of something These rumors deserve no credit.


credited; crediting

Kids Definition of credit (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give recognition or honor to for something The team credited their coach for the championship.
2 : to place something in a person's favor on (a business account) We will credit your account with ten dollars.
3 : believe sense 2 Don't credit a statement from a stranger.



Legal Definition of credit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2a : the balance in an account which may be drawn upon and repaid later — compare loan
b : the use of resources (as money) in the present obtained by the debtor's promise to repay the creditor in the future usually with interest as compensation to the creditor and often secured by a pledge of property or the right to attach the debtor's income in case of a failure to repay — see also consumer credit — compare debt
c : financial reputation to borrow money on the credit of the United StatesU.S. Constitution art. I
3a : a deduction from an expense or asset account
b : a reduction of an amount otherwise due especially : tax credit a credit for child-care expenses — compare deduction, exclusion, exemption

Legal Definition of credit (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to supply goods on credit to
2 : to trust in the truth of
3a : to enter upon the credit side of an account
b : to place an amount to the credit of credit his account with ten dollars

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