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 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 But there is good reason to believe that these protests have been significantly overhyped—and that credulous media reporting has boosted the profile of right-wing organizations that have done very little of note. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The Media Is Blowing the Coverage of the Coronavirus Protests," 24 Apr. 2020 Fritzsche’s book minutely describes this nationwide slide from credulous delusion to a willful embrace of catastrophe. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "A Sobering Look at How Quickly Hitler Transformed Germany," 17 Mar. 2020 Thankfully, The Most Dangerous Animal of All — the first in FX's docuseries slate — is hardly a credulous retelling of Stewart's story. Inkoo Kang, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Most Dangerous Animal of All': TV Review," 6 Mar. 2020 What the Iran coverage shows is that the mainstream media’s biggest liability remains its credulous approach to an administration with zero credibility. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "What the Media Is Getting Wrong About Soleimani’s Killing," 7 Jan. 2020 The key point from the securities board is to use extra caution with these assets, since bad folks have a pattern of taking advantage of the credulous investors. Michael Taylor,, "Taylor: Texas securities board warns of fraud — oh, the irony!," 17 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

Time Traveler

The first known use of credulous was in 1553

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Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Credulous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on credulous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for credulous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with credulous

Spanish Central: Translation of credulous

Nglish: Translation of credulous for Spanish Speakers

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