cred·it | \ˈkre-dit \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for credit

Synonyms: Noun

belief, credence, faith

Synonyms: Verb

accept, believe, buy, swallow, take, trust

Antonyms: Noun

disbelief, discredit, doubt, nonbelief, unbelief

Antonyms: Verb

disbelieve, discredit, reject

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for credit


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


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.


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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To its credit, the Turnbull government has continued this work. Tony Abbott, WSJ, "An Ally Sizes Up Donald Trump," 13 July 2018 His credits include Firefly, Buffy spinoff Angel and serving as an exec producer on ABC's Marvel drama Agents of SHIELD, which is showrun by his brother, Jed Whedon, and sister-in-law, Maurissa Tancharoen. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Joss Whedon Sci-Fi Drama Ordered Straight to Series at HBO," 13 July 2018 Cortez, to his everlasting credit, kept snapping his camera at the bottom of the dogpile. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final," 13 July 2018 With 23 major singles titles to her credit, Williams could easily have decided to call it a career at age 36. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Serena Williams, Enjoying Every Moment, Is Back in the Wimbledon Final," 12 July 2018 To his credit, Daly seems to be taking the right mindset into the weekend. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar in Toronto: 'Eh Team' returns home; Conor Daly returns to field," 12 July 2018 Charlotte, who is ninth in line to Monaco’s throne, and the 36-year-old film producer (his credits include Netflix’s The Little Prince) quietly began seeing each other in Dec. 2016 after being introduced by friends over dinner. Peter Mikelbank,, "There’s a New Royal Baby on the Way! Grace Kelly's Granddaughter Charlotte Casiraghi Is Pregnant," 10 July 2018 Under such circumstances, they are supposed to contact Covered California, and their tax credits are to be adjusted accordingly. Catherine Ho,, "Affordable Care Act’s unexpected side effect: an IOU to the IRS," 8 July 2018 Being plunked is nothing new for Orf, who now has 83 to his credit since joining the organization in 2013. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eric Thames, strong pitching effort shut out Twins, 2-0," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Different participants report psychological and spiritual benefits—a reset of sorts—as well as physical ones, with some chronic pain sufferers crediting the icy waters as a cure. Lane Florsheim, WSJ, "Artist Taryn Simon Invites You to Take a Cold Water Plunge Inside a Museum," 11 July 2018 The issue is credited as being written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Steve Ditko, a legendary, mercurial artist who worked at Marvel Comics for roughly a decade starting in the mid-1950s. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Steve Ditko’s Ordinary People," 10 July 2018 Christopher Columbus is sometimes credited as the originator of the name. Jacob Sweet, miamiherald, "Lots of sun, and brown slimy seaweed, in the forecast for South Florida beaches," 3 July 2018 It was almost fated — of course the man whose struggles, then injury was credited as having a lot to do with their slow start would come back and make an immediate impact for a team that hasn't won much and help them reverse that. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles give up two runs in eighth on Soto's double off Givens, lose to Nationals, 4-2," 22 June 2018 The Globe's ballroom was one of the places where Buddy Bolden, sometimes credited as the progenitor of jazz, had frequently appeared before his institutionalization in 1907. Doug Maccash,, "David Byrne cancels New Orleans show in Oct. Simple Minds due in Nov.," 4 June 2018 In addition to actress, Gilbert is now also credited as an executive producer., "Sara Gilbert Opens Up About "Sad" Cancellation Of Roseanne," 4 June 2018 Damon is credited as Dickie Greenleaf, which is a nod to the film The Talented Mr. Ripley, which was one of Damon's biggest movies (although, Jude Law actually played Dickie in the movie). Michelle Manetti, Good Housekeeping, "Here's Every Great 'Deadpool 2' Easter Egg You Probably Missed," 1 June 2018 Harvey Wiley, a government chemist, became a fierce advocate for quality testing for both food and medicine, and is widely credited as the architect of the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act. Michael Eisenstein, Scientific American, "The Little-known History and Global Future of Quality Medicines," 31 May 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about credit

Statistics for credit

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for credit

The first known use of credit was in 1529

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for credit



Financial Definition of credit

What It Is

Credit is an agreement whereby a financial institution agrees to lend a borrower a maximum amount of money over a given time period. Interest is typically charged on the outstanding balance.

In the accounting world, a credit is also a journal entry reflecting an increase in assets.

How It Works

Credit cards and home equity lines are examples of credit. Your bar tab is another form of credit.

Not all lines of credit are alike. The borrower's creditworthiness and relationship with the lender affect the terms of the lending agreement, as does bank competition, prevailing market conditions and the size of the line in question. Some lenders apply fixed amortization rates to outstanding balances on a line of credit, while some permit interest-only payments for a time, followed by a lump-sum payment of the principal. If the lender has the right to demand repayment at any time, this is called demand credit.

As with any debt, a wide array of specific terms and requirements may apply to a line of credit. It is common in a revolving line of credit, for example, for the lender to charge a company a commitment fee to keep the unborrowed portion of the line available to the borrower. Lenders also may require a compensating balance, liens on the borrower's assets or collateral on a percentage of the line. This is called securing the line. Some lines of credit are unsecured and are thus not backed by specific assets (this often the case with credit cards). Interest rates on unsecured lines are generally higher than secured lines to compensate the lender for the added risk in the event of a default.

Why It Matters

Credit gives borrowers the ability to purchase goods and services (or for companies, credit gives borrowers the ability to invest in projects) that they normally might not be able to afford. By lending the money, creditors make money by charging interest while helping borrowers pursue their projects. However, as many people have learned the hard way, taking on too much debt can cause a lifetime of damage.

Source: Investing Answers



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 \

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.

Keep scrolling for more



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

d : letter of credit

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on credit

What made you want to look up credit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!