in·​cred·​u·​lous | \ (ˌ)in-ˈkre-jə-ləs How to pronounce incredulous (audio) , -dyə-ləs \

Definition of incredulous

1 : unwilling to admit or accept what is offered as true : not credulous : skeptical
2 : expressing incredulity an incredulous stare

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Other Words from incredulous

incredulously adverb

Can incredulous mean 'incredible'?: Usage Guide

Sense 3 was revived in the 20th century after a couple of centuries of disuse. Although it is a sense with good literary precedent—among others Shakespeare used it—it is widely regarded as an error resulting from confusion with incredible, and its occurrence in published writing is rare.

Examples of incredulous in a Sentence

"Afraid not." I made an expression to show that I was as incredulous about this as he was. — Bill Bryson, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, 1999 A tweed-encased fogey, he's allergic to technology, persnickety about language, and incredulous that anyone could object to his incessant smoking. — John Powers, Vogue, March 1998 He was greeted with incredulous laughter. — Robert M. Hutchins, Center Magazine, September 1968 … no obstacle, no incredulous or unsafe circumstance … — William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, 1602 She listened to his explanation with an incredulous smile. He was incredulous at the news. Many people were incredulous that such a small fire could have caused so much damage.
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Recent Examples on the Web We were grossed out by the smells of the dairy farms and incredulous that, as my father was happy to insist, our delicious dinner could have come from those animals. Harold Mcgee, Wired, "The History of Poop Is Really the History of Technology," 6 Nov. 2020 Minnesota United midfielder Robin Lod (17) celebrated after headed a second half pass into the goal past an incredulous Chicago Fire goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth (1) to tie the game 2-2 late in the second half. Star Tribune, "Minnesota United draws with Chicago at Allianz Field," 5 Nov. 2020 Many have been incredulous at the idea that such a prominent official would risk his career to help a second-tier cartel. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, "Anti-drug alliance tested after U.S. arrest of former Mexican defense chief," 24 Oct. 2020 The wide receivers film room session was interrupted by a playfully incredulous freshman. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "Inside the program: Behind-the-scenes look at Stephen F. Austin football as it navigates challenges of 2020," 22 Oct. 2020 But the idea leaves most epidemiologists both appalled and incredulous. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Herd immunity strategy endorsed by White House a 'ridiculous' way to stop COVID, say scientists — it will just kill people," 14 Oct. 2020 Sam’s story recounted at the picnic table, Cleveland was incredulous: How could anything like that happen? Cara Kelly, USA Today, "He posed as a doctor and a wilderness expert. Behind the facade was an accused child molester.," 22 Oct. 2020 The judge was incredulous as a federal prosecutor pushed to keep a 25-year-old man behind bars until his trial on a charge of having a Molotov cocktail at a protest in May. Alanna Durkin Richer, Star Tribune, "Protest arrests show regular Americans, not urban antifa," 20 Oct. 2020 Chris pops over and, like us, stares at her, incredulous. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "Clare Crawley debuts as 'The Bachelorette' in season premiere – but will she be sticking around for long?," 14 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incredulous.' 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 incredulous

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for incredulous

Latin incredulus, from in- + credulus credulous

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Time Traveler for incredulous

Time Traveler

The first known use of incredulous was in 1579

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Statistics for incredulous

Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Incredulous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for incredulous


How to pronounce incredulous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of incredulous

: not able or willing to believe something : feeling or showing a lack of belief


in·​cred·​u·​lous | \ in-ˈkre-jə-ləs How to pronounce incredulous (audio) \

Kids Definition of incredulous

: feeling or showing disbelief

Other Words from incredulous

incredulously adverb

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Comments on incredulous

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