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 When Issa finds out that Condola is her ex's new girlfriend, Molly is incredulous that her friend keeps returning to the old Sturm und Drang with Lawrence. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Insecure' Season 4: TV Review," 10 Apr. 2020 In response to the rules change, Booker's former campaign manager Addisu Demissie sent out a tweet with a gif of Justin Timberlake looking incredulous. Steve Peoples, Fortune, "Bloomberg could qualify for next Democratic debate under new party rules," 2 Feb. 2020 In particular, Galvin seemed incredulous about waiting to see how Reg BI works out. Jon Chesto,, "Bill Galvin gets an earful from Wall Street over proposed stricter rules for brokers," 7 Jan. 2020 When, late on Thursday, the G.O.P. side put forward a motion to strike the entire second article of impeachment, which charges obstruction of Congress, Nadler seemed incredulous. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Talking Impeachment to Death," 12 Dec. 2019 As his career progressed, his hairstyles became more and more incredulous., "50 Most Unforgettable Haircuts in World Football," 10 July 2019 Dyer says, directing the question, and a slightly incredulous tone, at Heaton. Kelsea Stahler,, "Stranger Things' Natalia Dyer & Charlie Heaton Respond To Fans Who Still Ship Steve & Nancy," 5 July 2019 Warren said, eliciting incredulous responses from the former South Bend Mayor and Minnesota Senator. John Verhovek And, ABC News, "Here are the 5 takeaways from the fiery Las Vegas debate," 19 Feb. 2020 McCarthy said to an incredulous Seacrest of the people lining the street for hours. Eric Todisco,, "Jenny McCarthy Says She’s Skipping New Year’s Rockin’ Eve to Spend Time with Her Family," 7 Oct. 2019

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

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Incredulous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 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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