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 For that reason, Medows tell clients claiming the credit to file as early as possible. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Claiming the Child Tax Credit: Rules and exceptions," 21 Feb. 2020 Participants have to fill out paperwork to receive the stormwater credit. USA TODAY, "Leaning Tower of Dallas, John Glenn, blue lobster: News from around our 50 states," 20 Feb. 2020 The act, signed by George W. Bush, capped the solar credit at two thousand dollars per project. Bernard Avishai, The New Yorker, "A Lost Chance to Bring the Green New Deal Home," 18 Feb. 2020 Governor Andrew Cuomo's latest budget proposal extended the tax credit through 2025, but at a lower rate of 25%. Jeffrey Winter, Pamela Boykoff And Clare Sebastian, CNN, "More TV shows are calling New York home as demand for streaming content grows," 17 Feb. 2020 Lieber wants to address income inequality by expanding the earned income tax credit for the working poor, getting the state to the top five in per-pupil spending and reducing the cost of Caltrain so more people can afford to take it. Alexei Koseff,, "Money pours into crowded race for Bay Area Senate seat," 17 Feb. 2020 The vibe is of formidable financial might, a feeling echoed before the end credits by a pair of success stories — including race driver/author/filmmaker — who relay their money-earning prowess. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘I Wish I Knew’ presents a changing Shanghai through Jia Zhangke’s heartbreaking gaze," 13 Feb. 2020 The corn-ethanol tax credit has long been recognized as a fiscal and environmental disaster. Alex Trembath, National Review, "What a Republican Climate-Change Agenda Might Look Like," 13 Feb. 2020 This team is so different than the one last year, and all the credit in the world goes to Auburn coach Bruce Pearl for his ability to adapt and mold. Joseph Goodman |, al, "Injury to Isaac Okoro puts Auburn’s growth on hold," 13 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The article prompted Kim to share some stunning photos of her extravagent home, including one of the couple's outdoor landscaping, credited to Peter Wertz. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Pete Wentz Jokes About His Landscaping 'Side Hustle' for Kim Kardashian West," 3 Feb. 2020 The cinematography, credited to Alfredo de Juan and The Chau Ngo, nicely distinguishes between the film’s many times and places: a black-and-white torture chamber in Baghdad, the cold neon of a police interrogation room in London, the warm café. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Baghdad in My Shadow': Film Review," 3 Feb. 2020 Then, on January 15th, Editions Fayard, in Paris, set out the Cardinal’s views on celibacy in a book credited to two authors: Sarah and, with top billing, Benedict XVI. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, "“The Two Popes” Gives Way to Pope vs. Pope on the Issue of Celibacy in the Priesthood," 2 Feb. 2020 Eventually, the ballet, with a score by Adolphe Adam and choreography credited to Coralli and Jules Perrot, evolved. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "‘Giselle’ Review: Seeing an Old Dance Anew," 28 Jan. 2020 The idea is widely credited to American artist Ze Frank, who in 2006 successfully tried the trick in Spain as a buddy completed the snack in New Zealand. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Two Guys on Exact Opposite Ends of the World Made an Earth Sandwich," 23 Jan. 2020 For example, Virgin Atlantic and Air France flights can be credited to Delta SkyMiles, while those on British Airways and Qantas can build up your American Airlines AAdvantage balance. Eric Rosen, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Figure Out Your Points and Miles Strategy for the Year," 20 Jan. 2020 Ironically, TikTok’s growth can in part be credited to Instagram’s owner, Facebook Inc. ByteDance has long spent money to advertise the app on platforms like Facebook and Instagram., "Stories you may have missed from the world of business," 19 Jan. 2020 Despite Nick Chubb averaging far more than two yards a carry at the time, Kitchens got cute and the play ended in a 12-yard loss, credited to Mayfield. cleveland, "Plethora of 1st-half miscues versus Cardinals highlight that the Browns were outcoached in Arizona," 16 Dec. 2019

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

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Credit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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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


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.

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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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