discredit

verb
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 a discredited theory
3 : to deprive of good repute : disgrace personal attacks meant to discredit his opponent

discredit

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, on Sunday, suggested Shokin was the target of an international smear campaign to discredit his work. Fox News, "Joe, Hunter Biden seen golfing with Ukraine gas company exec back in 2014, photo shows," 1 Oct. 2019 Trump's team and allies have waged a public relations campaign against Mueller and the Justice Department to discredit the investigation and soften the impact of the special counsel's potential findings. Aron Heller, chicagotribune.com, "Giuliani says Mueller's team is trying to frame Trump," 6 June 2018 But so many findings in social priming have been disputed that some say the field is close to being entirely discredited. Tom Chivers, Scientific American, "What’s Next for Psychology’s Embattled Field of Social Priming," 13 Feb. 2020 Researchers from a variety of disciplines have examined why people believe things that have been discredited or debunked. oregonlive, "Misinformation about the coronavirus abounds, but correcting it can backfire," 8 Feb. 2020 They can be seen when Ted Cruz tries to discredit climate change with talk about the anomalous world weather pattern in 1998 due to El Niño. Lee Mcintyre, The Conversation, "5 ways Trump and his supporters are using the same strategies as science deniers," 27 Nov. 2019 Years later, one recanted and the other was discredited. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, "More than three decades later, troubling questions and contradictions remain about two murder convictions and the role of forensic scientist Henry Lee," 23 July 2019 Flint’s case involved deliberate obfuscation of facts and attempts to discredit a pediatrician who cried foul. Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, "Fifty Things We’ve Learned About the Earth Since the First Earth Day," 22 Apr. 2020 Long since discredited, such ideas have not disappeared. Douglas Starr, Science | AAAS, "Meet the psychologist exploring unconscious bias—and its tragic consequences for society," 26 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But in its most literal form, election hacking refers to computer breaches that are intended to manipulate voter data, change a vote tally or otherwise discredit tabulated results. Andrew Martin, Fortune, "What Is Election Hacking— And Can It Change Who Wins?," 26 Dec. 2019 After a tumultuous trial, he was acquitted by a military jury in July of all charges except one minor count: bringing discredit on the armed forces, by posing for a photo with the corpse of the captive he was accused of killing. BostonGlobe.com, "In a statement released by the White House late Friday, Trump announced that he was ordering the full pardon of Clint Lorance, a former Army lieutenant, from the military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where he is serving a 19-year sentence for the murder of two civilians.," 17 Nov. 2019 After the Tigers’ latest annihilation of an opponent — and that’s no discredit to Homestead, which might’ve been the toughest test Northwestern had left — Bostic finally cracked. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: If you thought Northwestern wasn't ready for a tough test, the Tigers just aced it.," 16 Feb. 2020 After a tumultuous trial, he was acquitted by a military jury in July of all charges except one minor count: bringing discredit on the armed forces, by posing for a photo with the corpse of the captive he was accused of killing. BostonGlobe.com, "In a statement released by the White House late Friday, Trump announced that he was ordering the full pardon of Clint Lorance, a former Army lieutenant, from the military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where he is serving a 19-year sentence for the murder of two civilians.," 17 Nov. 2019 After a tumultuous trial, he was acquitted by a military jury in July of all charges except one minor count: bringing discredit on the armed forces, by posing for a photo with the corpse of the captive he was accused of killing. New York Times, "Trump Clears Three Service Members in War Crimes Cases," 15 Nov. 2019 Gallagher was acquitted of murder but convicted of bringing discredit to the armed services after posing with the corpse of an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq. BostonGlobe.com, "WASHINGTON — Ousted Navy Secretary Richard Spencer sharply criticized President Trump’s ‘‘shocking and unprecedented intervention’’ in the case of a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes, saying Trump’s efforts underscored that the president ‘‘has very little understanding’’ of the military.," 29 Nov. 2019 At trial he was acquitted of all charges except one, for which he was demoted: bringing discredit to the armed forces by posing for photos with the teenage captive’s dead body. New York Times, "Esper Demands Resignation of Navy Secretary Over SEAL Case," 24 Nov. 2019 But the Navy ultimately demoted the chief, who was convicted of one charge: bringing discredit to the armed forces by posing for photos with the teenage captive’s dead body. BostonGlobe.com, "Navy may expel SEAL, defying Trump - The Boston Globe," 24 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of discredit

Verb

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about discredit

Time Traveler for discredit

Time Traveler

The first known use of discredit was in 1548

See more words from the same year

Statistics for discredit

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Discredit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discredit. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for discredit

discredit

verb
How to pronounce discredit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of discredit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cause (someone or something) to seem dishonest or untrue
: to damage the reputation of (someone)

discredit

noun

English Language Learners Definition of discredit (Entry 2 of 2)

: loss of reputation or respect

discredit

verb
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.

discredit

noun

Kids Definition of discredit (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on discredit

What made you want to look up discredit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!