Can incredulous mean ‘incredible’?
Sense 2 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—many people think it is a result of confusion with incredible, which is still the usual word in this sense.
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.
Recent Examples of incredulous from the Web
Locals were bewildered and incredulous at how this could happen in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which has one of the wealthiest populations in the U.K. and is only minutes away from the fancy mansions familiar from the movie Notting Hill.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, was incredulous.
His tone was unfailingly incredulous, squeaking with disbelief and contempt.
The supercomputer’s success against an incredulous Garry Kasparov sparked controversy over how a machine had managed to outmaneuver a grand master, and incited accusations—
Pine’s Steve is equal parts incredulous and enraptured toward Diana.
An incredulous Farina looked at the referee, but no penalty kick was awarded.
Since then, the Instagram account has posted a steady stream of content, including steamy promotional photos of the show’s female cast members and screenshots of incredulous-sounding social media chatter about the show –
But because the internet loves a good ~miracle~ story, this video has racked up 87 million views, nearly 2 million shares, and over 160,000 incredulous comments.
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.
Origin and Etymology of incredulous
Latin incredulus, from in- + credulus credulous
First Known Use: 1579See Words from the same year
INCREDULOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of incredulous for English Language Learners
: not able or willing to believe something : feeling or showing a lack of belief
INCREDULOUS Defined for Kids
Definition of incredulous for Students
: feeling or showing disbelief
Seen and Heard
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