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

Essential Meaning of incredulous

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

Full Definition of incredulous

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

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 Democrats are incredulous, dismissing the strategy as another strand of spaghetti thrown at the wall. Jonathan Weisman, New York Times, 24 Nov. 2021 Lore said the chefs were amazed when their dishes were put to the taste test and incredulous that their recipes could taste so good when finished off in a mobile truck’s high speed convection oven. Sharon Edelson, Forbes, 9 Dec. 2021 Karlo Buxo-Morales radiantly conveys his belief in the mermaid, while Lucas Laguer perfectly pitches his friend’s skeptical than incredulous comic reactions. Matthew J. Palm,, 18 Nov. 2021 Whittingham was incredulous Saturday postgame when the topic came up. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Nov. 2021 Gates’s critique and the white executive’s incredulous reaction to the Huxtables’ lifestyle reflected the damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t dilemma that Cosby writers faced: Be Black, but not too Black. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 13 Sep. 2021 As the internet filled with outraged and incredulous comments, reps for Drake, his label and music publisher, and Kelly declined or did not respond to Variety’s requests for comment on Friday. Jem Aswad, Variety, 6 Sep. 2021 Nayte is incredulous, but Michelle grants the request. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, 17 Nov. 2021 Kelley asked, a bit incredulous at skipping over so many houses. cleveland, 12 Sep. 2021

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

27 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Incredulous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for incredulous


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

More from Merriam-Webster on incredulous

Nglish: Translation of incredulous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of incredulous for Arabic Speakers


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