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



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 Transparency always seems to be an issue expressed by an opponent against an incumbent in an effort to discredit accomplishments. Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "Indiana voter guide: What to know about the Charlestown mayoral candidates," 30 Oct. 2019 Critics of America's youngest-ever congresswoman @AOC have attempted to discredit her with a video of her dancing as a student. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Can Relate to Meghan Markle's Struggle with the Spotlight," 18 Oct. 2019 Climate change deniers seek to discredit her, climate science in general and those who speak about it. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Online haters are targetting Greta Thunberg with conspiracy theories and fake photos," 2 Oct. 2019 Republicans on the Sunday morning news shows also redoubled their efforts to discredit the unidentified whistleblower and sought to keep the focus on the Bidens. al, "Stephen Miller: Trump is the real ‘whistleblower’," 30 Sep. 2019 Israeli conflict as an opportunity to expose the limits of Soviet power and thereby discredit it. Vance Serchuk, National Review, "Russia’s Middle East Power Play," 12 Sep. 2019 In their minds, the fact that my body was at all visible had somehow discredited me and my political action. Michael Avedon, Harper's BAZAAR, "Emily Ratajkowski Explores What It Means to Be Hyper Feminine," 8 Aug. 2019 In the age of the information wars, where nearly everything is weaponized for political purposes, Mueller inadvertently allowed for his message -- an important one -- to be hijacked by those who aimed to discredit it. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "In the age of the information wars, Mueller's traditionalist approach was his major flaw," 26 July 2019 Late last year, the New York Times reported that Facebook had hired an opposition research firm to discredit critics by linking them to philanthropist George Soros. Washington Post, "Facebook wants to find you a soul mate. Will users trust the company with their secrets?," 8 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Gallagher was acquitted by a military jury in July of all the 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, "The Navy SEAL at the center of one the highest-profile war crimes cases in years had his sentence drastically reduced Tuesday by the Navy’s top admiral, sparing the SEAL from the most serious punishment he still faced, a steep demotion that could have cost him nearly $1 million in retirement pay.," 30 Oct. 2019 Nevertheless, Ferguson’s office still would have recommended the department fire him for several rule violations ranging from bringing discredit to the department to making a false report, written or oral, the office said. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago’s inspector general report says police lieutenant rewrote key witness reports in Laquan McDonald shooting," 10 Oct. 2019 The contents of this memo do not - in any way - discredit his investigation. Zainab Fattah, Fortune, "Iran Says It Shot Down a U.S. Drone Amid Escalating Tensions in the Oil Region," 20 June 2019 Sorry, but such double standards discredit #Metoo The answer to male privilege is not female privilege. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Our Reaction to Asia Argento Proves the Power Imbalance of #MeToo," 24 Aug. 2018 The request Monday to the Office of Congressional Ethics said questions of dishonesty can bring discredit to the House in violation of House rules. Kantele Franko, The Seattle Times, "Ethics review sought as ex-coaches at Ohio St. defend Jordan," 9 July 2018 As such, your actions reflected discredit upon the Senate. Ashley Killough, CNN, "Sen. Bob Menendez 'severely admonished' by Senate Ethics Committee," 26 Apr. 2018 The contents of this memo do not - in any way - discredit his investigation. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Trey Gowdy: Democrats May Be Tricking Trump Into Hiding Parts of Their Memo," 7 Feb. 2018 The contents of this memo do not - in any way - discredit his investigation. Billy House, Bloomberg.com, "GOP Releases Disputed Memo Saying FBI Misled Judge in Trump Case," 2 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for discredit

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for discredit

The first known use of discredit was in 1548

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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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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).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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