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

Did You Know?

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 The people who benefit from Scientology generally regard the rank and file as a bunch of credulous rubes. Philip Martin, Arkansas Online, "Republican Scientology," 23 Aug. 2020 Without credulous attention from outlets like The New York Times and CNN, overheated partisan scandals like Benghazi and Clinton’s emails would have lacked mainstream credibility. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is the Media About to Screw Up Coverage of Biden’s Vice Presidential Pick?," 11 Aug. 2020 But other elements of the legal system proved more credulous, and parental alienation became such a common tactic in custody disputes that some women’s rights advocates call it a public health crisis. Kathryn Joyce, Longreads, "She Said Her Husband Hit Her. She Lost Custody of Their Kids," 10 Aug. 2020 In the pages that no one save for a handful of credulous senior citizens in community libraries across the country will ever actually open, Bolton apparently says some not very flattering things about the president. Matthew Walther, TheWeek, "The ugly truth of Trump's position on Chinese concentration camps," 20 June 2020 Still, anecdotal reports of microdosing’s positive effects abound—particularly in somewhat credulous media outlets, which tout the powers of microdosing to make your humdrum daily routine suddenly burst vividly to life. John Semley, The New Republic, "Turn On, Tune In, Cash In," 27 Apr. 2020 In that sense, not all the blame can be placed on the most credulous members of the public. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "The Dangerous Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories Targeting 5G Technology, Bill Gates, and a World of Fear," 24 Apr. 2020 But Trump has only one act—juggling lies after lies to bamboozle the credulous—and, at the worst moment of his presidency, his usual tricks and distractions are suddenly not working. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Trump Can’t Lie His Way Out of This One," 16 Apr. 2020 Instead, Life of Brian makes political hypocrites and credulous and bloodthirsty mobs their target. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "Twitter Outrage at the Church of England’s Views on Sex," 24 Jan. 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

4 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Credulous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for credulous


How to pronounce credulous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of credulous

: too ready to believe things : easily fooled or cheated

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for credulous

Nglish: Translation of credulous for Spanish Speakers

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