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

transitive verb

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


2 of 2


: loss of credit (see credit entry 1 sense 3) or reputation
I knew stories to the discredit of EnglandW. B. Yeats
: 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
In many schools, public and private alike, students are taught that the ideas contained in our founding documents are discredited by slavery. Caleb Nunes, National Review, 8 Sep. 2023 The president rejects the charge, accusing rich, right-wing adversaries of trying to discredit him because of his fight against corruption and dedication to the poor. Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2023 During her unsuccessful 2022 primary run against Sen. Mike Lee, Edwards criticized Lee for backing Trump’s efforts to discredit the 2020 election results. The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Sep. 2023 Despite his support for the movement, he’s been labeled by some on the far right as a deep state agent working to discredit Trump, the outlet reported. Brieanna J. Frank, USA TODAY, 18 Aug. 2023 The junta dismissed these reports Sunday night and accused West African politicians and international partners of fueling a disinformation campaign to discredit the junta. Time, 14 Aug. 2023 Russian state media, meanwhile, broadcast images intended to discredit Mr. Prigozhin’s commando persona, including of the mercenary leader in wigs and crude disguises, such as an Islamist-style beard and wraparound sunglasses. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 26 Aug. 2023 The attacks may have done less to discredit the newcomer than to elevate him as an intriguing and well-differentiated voice. Molly Ball, Time, 24 Aug. 2023 Consider the case of Father Ioann Burdin, a pacifist village priest in the Kostroma region northeast of Moscow: after his parishioners informed on him, he was fined for discrediting the army in his sermons and in March 2023, was banned from leading services. Andrei Kolesnikov, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023
The officers, both cops since November 2017, face allegations of numerous rule violations, ranging from bringing discredit to the department and engaging in an unjustified verbal or physical altercation, to incompetency or inefficiency during the performance of their duties. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, 5 Aug. 2021 Two weeks after the riot, the left-leaning Campaign for Accountability made a similar request for probes to determine if several House members may have incited a riot or brought discredit to Congress, among other potential violations of federal law and the rules of the House of Representatives. Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, 11 Mar. 2021 Judge Sophia Hall ruled the Chicago Police Board made a sound decision in dismissing Officer Ricardo Viramontes last year for several Chicago Police Department rule violations, including making false statements, bringing discredit to the department and failing to promote its goals. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, 10 Dec. 2020 Alex Wolinski faces dismissal for eight different police department rule violations — ranging from bringing discredit to the department and failing to promote its efforts to disrespecting a person and incompetency — according to city records filed last week to the Chicago Police Board. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, 10 Nov. 2021 The regrettable attack on Nat (King) Cole in Birmingham by a band of hoodlums redounds to the everlasting discredit of those who foster race prejudice. al, 10 Apr. 2021 But there are other, general standards in place that apply and forbid officers from conduct that would bring discredit to the department, Sarnow said. Elliot Hughes, Journal Sentinel, 7 Apr. 2023 No discredit to anybody else. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, 31 Mar. 2023 Just because, no discredit to the refs. Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, 14 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'discredit.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of discredit was in 1548

Dictionary Entries Near discredit

Cite this Entry

“Discredit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discredit. Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
dis·​cred·​it (ˈ)dis-ˈkred-ət How to pronounce discredit (audio)
: to refuse to accept as true or correct : disbelieve
discredit a rumor
: to cause to seem dishonest or untrue
discredit a witness
: to destroy the good reputation of : disgrace entry 1
involvement in the scandal discredited them


2 of 2 noun
: loss of good name or respect
brought discredit on their family
: lack or loss of belief or confidence
bring a story into discredit

More from Merriam-Webster on discredit

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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