incredulous

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web In Somerton, about 200 miles southwest of Phoenix near the Mexico border, community leaders were incredulous. Astrid Galvan And Mike Schneider, The Arizona Republic, 28 Aug. 2021 Lawmakers urging a plan of action were incredulous. jsonline.com, 30 Aug. 2021 In Somerton, about 200 miles southwest of Phoenix near the Mexico border, community leaders were incredulous. Astrid Galvan And Mike Schneider, The Arizona Republic, 28 Aug. 2021 The can scored headlines recently when Public Works officials told incredulous members of the Board of Supervisors the prototypes might cost $20,000. Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 25 Aug. 2021 His incredulous new wife (Alexandra Daddario) watches as Shane wades over to the young women to flirt. Matthew Jacobs, WSJ, 3 Aug. 2021 The wounded soldier remains incredulous about what happened to him, likening Argosy’s actions to theft. Chris Quintana, USA Today, 18 May 2021 Allen was incredulous about the no-call and argued with officials Sean Wright, Karl Lane and Leroy Richardson while going back the other way. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 15 May 2021 But Seaman, who works as an electrical engineer by day, is incredulous of any such suggestion. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 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.

See More

First Known Use of incredulous

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for incredulous

Latin incredulus, from in- + credulus credulous

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About incredulous

Time Traveler for incredulous

Time Traveler

The first known use of incredulous was in 1579

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near incredulous

incredulity

incredulous

increep

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for incredulous

Last Updated

4 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Incredulous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incredulous. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for incredulous

incredulous

adjective
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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!