dis·​cred·​it | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈkre-dət How to pronounce discredit (audio) \
discredited; discrediting; discredits

Definition of discredit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to refuse to accept as true or accurate : disbelieve discredit a rumor
2 : to cause disbelief in the accuracy or authority of trying to discredit the claims of a rival a discredited theory
3 : to deprive of good repute : disgrace personal attacks meant to discredit his opponent



Definition of discredit (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : loss of credit (see credit entry 1 sense 3) or reputation I knew stories to the discredit of England— W. B. Yeats
2 : lack or loss of belief or confidence : doubt contradictions cast discredit on his testimony

Examples of discredit in a Sentence

Verb The prosecution discredited the witness by showing that she had lied in the past. Many of his theories have been thoroughly discredited. an attempt to discredit the governor Noun to his everlasting discredit, the coach was found to have placed bets against his own team
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Initial reports suggested the mother used synthetic videos depicting the young girls smoking to discredit them. Mounir Ibrahim, Fortune, 27 July 2022 Trump and his Republican allies have sought to discredit her, other witnesses, and the panel, comprised of seven Democrats and two Republicans. Alexandra Hutzler, ABC News, 23 July 2022 Paul Flores’ lawyer also attempted to discredit the use of cadaver dogs and the forensic evidence to which prosecutors have pointed. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, 20 July 2022 The Mexican leader has pursued an energy agenda that threatens American companies and regularly uses his bully pulpit to discredit and personally insult those who question his government. New York Times, 5 July 2022 The turbulent negotiations were punctuated by controversies that helped fuel a campaign to discredit the convention. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, 5 July 2022 Hutchinson won't be an easy target for Trump or others to discredit, despite Trump's immediate effort to distance himself from her on Tuesday. Elie Honig, CNN, 28 June 2022 The body is barely cold when the wheels of the government’s cover-up machinery start turning, with an army of judicial and security officials united in their joint goal to gaslight and discredit Jurek, the crime’s only honest witness. Guy Lodge, Variety, 10 Sep. 2021 At the time the act was passed, the medical establishment was actively working to discredit midwives. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 4 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This represents a historic setback that only adds to the isolation and discredit of the U.S. government. Tracy Wilkinsonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2022 But to its discredit, the Tribune largely ignored them, instead writing about white performers like Benny Goodman. Chicago Tribune Staff, Chicago Tribune, 5 June 2022 Palisade all art forms; monitor, discredit, or expel those that challenge or destabilize processes of demonization and deification. Zadie Smith, The New Yorker, 23 Jan. 2022 City officials said Mintz’s actions did not follow the rules of good conduct and behavior and brought discredit to himself and the San Antonio Police Department. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 11 Mar. 2022 That’s no discredit to him, but rather an acknowledgment that the highest tier of NBA stars exist in a totally different pantheon. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Dec. 2021 Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown filed charges in January to fire Catanzara, citing a long list of alleged infractions that brought discredit to the department and impeded its mission. Annie Sweeney, chicagotribune.com, 15 Nov. 2021 In an 11-page stipulation of facts discussed in court, prosecutors laid out 27 instances in which Scheller disrespected senior officials and brought discredit to himself as a Marine Corps officer. Arkansas Online, 15 Oct. 2021 Just as the Copernican revolution displaced earth-centrism, this revolution must, by analogy, displace and discredit ego-centrism. Chris Lowney, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discredit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of discredit


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of discredit was in 1548

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Discredit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discredit. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for discredit


dis·​cred·​it | \ dis-ˈkre-dət How to pronounce discredit (audio) \
discredited; discrediting

Kids Definition of discredit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to cause to seem dishonest or untrue discredit a report
2 : to harm the reputation of The candidates tried to discredit each other.



Kids Definition of discredit (Entry 2 of 2)

: loss of good name or respect His behavior brought discredit on the family.

More from Merriam-Webster on discredit

Nglish: Translation of discredit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of discredit for Arabic Speakers


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