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

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 Although partisans in a number of current conflicts have often used the term to discredit and stigmatize opponents, genocide prosecutions are rare. BostonGlobe.com, "Here’s why Biden’s recognition of genocide against Armenians matters," 24 Apr. 2021 Edison promoted the electric chair (which used alternating current) to discredit his rival. WSJ, "Replying to Jeffrey Sonnenfeld on Woke CEOs," 20 Apr. 2021 Brands that discredit unauthorized sellers publicly are often steered clear of. Sanjeev Sularia, Forbes, "Combating Gray-Market Activities And Protecting Your Brand (Part II): Seven Best Practices," 9 Apr. 2021 But Lempert, the children’s advocate, worries the district’s dysfunction could be used to discredit public education in general. Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, "Alison Collins' lawsuit comes amid S.F. school district crisis. The real losers could be the students," 1 Apr. 2021 Conservative media used the story to discredit her testimony and accusations of rape, and even went so far as to say the Memphis Massacre was a political ruse. Ashlee Marie Preston, Harper's BAZAAR, "Black Trans Women Have Always Been Integral in the Fight for Women’s Rights," 8 Mar. 2021 Surely, this information could be used to discredit King among his loyal followers. Chris Vognar, Los Angeles Times, "Spate of awards-season films track FBI tactics against Black activists," 3 Mar. 2021 Until December 13th, Cuomo’s grip on power in New York had been near-absolute, a dominance secured at times through his willingness to discredit and intimidate his adversaries. Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker, "Cuomo’s First Accuser Raises New Claims of Harassment and Retaliation," 18 Mar. 2021 Among Liddy’s specialties were gathering political intelligence and organizing activities to disrupt or discredit Nixon’s Democratic opponents. Will Lester, USA TODAY, "G. Gordon Liddy, Watergate mastermind, dead at 90," 31 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To keep Bennett, especially, in tow, Netanyahu needs to prove that failing to stand with him would mean courting discredit with future supporters. Bernard Avishai, The New Yorker, "Netanyahu—on Trial and Trying to Form a Government—Is Promoting His Own Big Lie," 20 Apr. 2021 Despite, or because of its farcical origin, debunk has taken the place of more sober synonyms such as discredit or expose. Ralph Keyes, Time, "From ‘Scientist’ to ‘Spam,’ the Surprisingly Playful Origins of English Words," 1 Apr. 2021 As vaccine delivery draws nearer, community health workers will educate patients and discredit misinformation. Dallas News, "Dallas health care workers educate patients on COVID-19, discredit vaccine misinformation," 7 Dec. 2020 Efforts to censor, cancel, discredit, or destroy the work of anyone with contrasting viewpoints are canonized by the wealthy, powerful left-wing elites and their institutions. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Progressives Are No Longer Defenders of Free Expression," 3 Dec. 2020 Fire Department employees are prohibited from taking part in behavior that would bring discredit upon the department or cast it in a negative public light. Brian Chasnoff, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio mayor: Photo of fire chief with ‘naked sushi’ woman ‘betrays’ city values," 23 Oct. 2020 Employees also are prohibited from taking part in behavior that would bring discredit upon the department or cast it in a negative public light. Emilie Eaton, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood posed for photo eating sushi displayed on nude woman," 22 Oct. 2020 Flooding involves producing a significant amount of content to distract, confuse, and discredit. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "The case for a virtual commute when working from home," 1 Oct. 2020 Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the Department ... and demands your termination. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "These are the people at the center of the Breonna Taylor case," 23 Sep. 2020

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


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Discredit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discredit. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for discredit



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)



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

: loss of reputation or respect


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.

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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