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 Obviously, the more these local businesses accept credit cards to process their transactions, the more Visa benefits. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "The pandemic ingenuity of small businesses," 2 Apr. 2021 Vrbo has teamed up with Affirm, a company that offers lending alternatives to credit cards, to allow people to book a vacation home now and pay for it later. Jessica Poitevien, Travel + Leisure, "You Can Book Your Dream Vacation Home Now and Pay Later," 2 Apr. 2021 In fact, a study by the Kauffman Foundation found that Black founders rely on personal credit cards to fund new companies or acquire existing ones. Essence, "3 Places to Find Funding For Your Business," 2 Apr. 2021 The subsidiary operates in 13 countries in Africa, offering mobile wallet deposit and withdrawals, merchant and commercial payments, loans and savings, virtual credit cards, and international money transfers. Jackie Bischof, Quartz, "Why Mastercard just made a $100 million bet on Africa’s mobile money market," 2 Apr. 2021 Spending on Chase credit cards has jumped and is just 1.6% below its pre-Covid trend—compared with a 40% fall last March— JPMorgan Chase data showed this week. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "If People Aren’t Bored Anymore, What Happens to the Stock Market?," 1 Apr. 2021 According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, about 85% of public and private colleges accept credit cards. Steve Sprovach And Amy Wagner, The Enquirer, "Allworth Advice: Can I pay for college with a credit card?," 1 Apr. 2021 All tickets will be digital and only credit cards or payment via the Payment Wallet in the MLB Ballpark App will be accepted at concession stands and retail locations. Dallas News, "A look at the Globe Life Field health and safety protocols for 2021," 28 Mar. 2021 Officers assisted the woman in cancelling her credit cards. cleveland, "Suspecting man of having a female visitor, woman rushed into man’s home: Richmond Heights Police Blotter," 26 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many in Israel credit its hybrid healthcare model with providing high-level care that kept the death toll low. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "How Israel Delivered the World’s Fastest Vaccine Rollout," 18 Mar. 2021 Public-health experts credit the agency with eradicating smallpox, polio and measles from Latin America long before they were eliminated from Africa and Asia. David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, "How Trump and Bolsonaro Broke Latin America’s Covid-19 Defenses," 28 Oct. 2020 Exxon’s internal projections credit the company with the beneficial impact of two dozen emission-lowering measures, such as projects to capture carbon, reduce methane leaks and flaring, and use renewable energy. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Internal documents show Exxon’s plan to substantially boost carbon emissions," 5 Oct. 2020 Employees credit the company’s extensive training program for new hires, its ongoing training opportunities and managers’ commitment to leading by example. Nicholas Rondinone,, "Top Workplaces: Emergency Resource Management at a glance," 24 Sep. 2020 DeJoy will also ask President Biden to order a review of how much the Postal Service should have paid into federal pension funds, and credit the mail agency with any overpayments. Washington Post, "What’s in Louis DeJoy’s 10-year plan for the USPS," 23 Mar. 2021 Republicans need to gain only one seat in the Senate and just five in the House in 2022 to take back control, a likely result in a normal midterm election, but perhaps a trickier one if voters credit their rivals for a strong American rebound. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Stimulus Bill as a Political Weapon? Democrats Are Counting on It.," 15 Mar. 2021 How to credit clean resources under the policy and, crucially, how and whether to count natural gas as clean is still one of the biggest questions policymakers will have to answer. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Carbon taxes are out, and clean electricity standards are in," 11 Mar. 2021 In the event the cruise line itself cancels a voyage, passengers are typically given a full refund and often credit for a future departure. Deborah Dunn, WSJ, "Is It Safe to Travel Again? Your Coronavirus Questions Answered," 26 Feb. 2021

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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Statistics for credit

Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Credit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for credit



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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