cred·​u·​lous | \ ˈkre-jə-ləs How to pronounce credulous (audio) \

Definition of credulous

1 : ready to believe especially on slight or uncertain evidence accused of swindling credulous investors Few people are credulous enough to believe such nonsense.
2 : proceeding from credulity credulous superstitions

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Other Words from credulous

credulously adverb
credulousness noun

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It’s easier to give credit to people who adhere to their creed than to give credence to what miscreants say, or for that matter, to find recreants altogether credible. That sentence contains a half dozen words which, like today’s credulous, are descendants of credere, the Latin verb that means "to believe" or "to trust": credit ("honor," as well as "belief"); creed ("guiding principle"); credence ("acceptance as true"); miscreant ("a heretic" or a criminal); recreant ("coward, deserter"); and credible ("offering reasonable grounds for being believed"). Credulous is even more closely allied to the nouns credulity and credulousness (both meaning "gullibility"), and of course its antonym, incredulous ("skeptical," also "improbable").

Examples of credulous in a Sentence

Few people are credulous enough to believe such nonsense.
Recent Examples on the Web Now, the inhabitants are a credulous, inbred bunch, prone to mottled skin, patches of white hair and walking in their sleep. Alissa Simon, Variety, 10 Sep. 2021 Many fans are getting off on having the permission to be openly credulous about his star power. The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021 But some RAADFest vendors could induce a bout of skepticism in even the most credulous consumer. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, 15 July 2021 Lay people who dissent from the scientific consensus may strike you as woefully credulous but often pride themselves on being independent-minded. New York Times, 13 July 2021 So much has changed in the vividly fraught relationship between America and its allies and its stubbornly credulous relationship with Russia these past four years. Washington Post, 15 June 2021 When Xi Jinping pledged to the United Nations last September that China would be carbon neutral by 2060, credulous Western media outlets and climate commentators seized an opportunity to level criticism at emissions policies in the United States. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 27 Mar. 2021 Now, after four years of hyperpolarization under President Trump and one extraordinary season of sometimes violent protest focused on race and policing, that credulous flirtation with the audacity of hope seems impossible to recapture. Thomas Chatterton Williams, WSJ, 26 Feb. 2021 Carlson’s rebuke of Powell marked a notable departure for a show — and a network — that has given hours of credulous coverage to false claims by Trump and his associates that fraud cost him the election. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2020

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

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for credulous

Latin credulus, from credere to believe, entrust — more at creed

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Time Traveler for credulous

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The first known use of credulous was in 1553

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Credulous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for credulous



English Language Learners Definition of credulous

: too ready to believe things : easily fooled or cheated

More from Merriam-Webster on credulous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for credulous

Nglish: Translation of credulous for Spanish Speakers


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