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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Whilst some agreed with Carney's assessment, others used discriminatory language to discredit her. Ben Church, CNN, "Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani defends club tweet that led to online abuse of pundit Karen Carney," 30 Dec. 2020 Especially when the latest advice runs against the grain of one of the nation’s oldest traditions, namely Thanksgiving, and when prominent pro-restriction officeholders discredit themselves with their own behavior. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Coming Anti-COVID Restriction Backlash," 24 Nov. 2020 Following Democrat Joe Biden’s victory, Trump has sought to discredit the integrity of the election and argued without evidence that the results will be overturned. Anchorage Daily News, "States cite smooth election, despite Trump’s claims," 11 Nov. 2020 To McGuffey, though, the real goal of the investigation was to discredit her. Dan Avery, NBC News, "She says the sheriff fired her for being gay. Now, she'll be the sheriff.," 10 Nov. 2020 And rather than lend support, budgetary and moral, to that effort, the president of the United States has sought to discredit it. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | OTHERS SAY: Reform at the ballot box," 17 Oct. 2020 With the election just around the corner, critics of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden are pointing to his comments along the final leg of the campaign trail to discredit him. Devon Link, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Clip of Biden's statement on 'some Black woman' is missing context," 16 Oct. 2020 Google has already sought to discredit the foundation of these arguments. Gerrit De Vynck, Bloomberg.com, "Google to Cite Rivals and Privacy in U.S. Lawsuit Defense," 2 Oct. 2020 There have been multiple debates on its meaning, and it has often been countered (in attempt to discredit the purpose) with ‘All Lives Matter’. al, "40 years after Bonita Carter, the fight continues," 14 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 To be sure, Trump works hard to earn discredit, but his critics are slowly catching up with him. Jay Ambrose, Star Tribune, "Mail-in ballots: So much potential fraud, so little heed," 10 Aug. 2020 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

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.

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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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Time Traveler for discredit

Time Traveler

The first known use of discredit was in 1548

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Statistics for discredit

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Discredit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discredit. Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for discredit


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)



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.

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