credulous

adjective
cred·​u·​lous | \ ˈkre-jə-ləs \

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

What Lewis establishes in detail in the report, however, is a cooperative ecosystem in which key players act as conveyors from the mainstream right to the extreme right by conducting credulous, friendly interviews with both. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The rise of YouTube’s reactionary right," 24 Sep. 2018 Few people are as credulous as Lear or have children as exploitative as Goneril and Regan. Paula Marantz Cohen, WSJ, "Shakespeare’s Uncomfortable Message for Baby Boomers," 26 Oct. 2018 But equally deserving of scorn are all the credulous rich and powerful old men who bought into this house of cards. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The downfall of Theranos, from the journalist who made it happen," 15 July 2018 The more credulous members of the media too often bought that act. David Dayen, The New Republic, "A Fitting End to Paul Ryan’s Fraudulent Political Career," 22 May 2018 The periodical’s skeptical approach to advertisers and authority figures helped raise a less credulous and more critical generation in the 1960s and 1970s. Michael J. Socolow, Smithsonian, "In its Heyday, Mad Magazine Was a Lot More Than Silly Jokes," 11 May 2018 The most skeptical assumptions about Trump somehow proved too credulous. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Did Trump Bribe Ukraine to Stop Cooperating With Mueller?," 2 May 2018 In short, between this and other recent conduct, the threat demonstrates that anti-Trump vigor -- like pro-Trump vigor -- is not a good reason to put credulous trust in someone. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Michael Avenatti isn’t a liberal hero. He’s a lawyer.," 14 May 2018 There’s some juice in Mr. Rhodes’s reaction, more bruised than angry, to a profile in The New York Times Magazine, in which he is portrayed as finding the Washington press corps both ignorant and credulous. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Final Year,’ a Countdown for Obama-Era Diplomacy," 18 Jan. 2018

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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Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for credulous

The first known use of credulous was in 1553

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More Definitions for credulous

credulous

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of credulous

: too ready to believe things : easily fooled or cheated

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More from Merriam-Webster on credulous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with credulous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for credulous

Spanish Central: Translation of credulous

Nglish: Translation of credulous for Spanish Speakers

Comments on credulous

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