dis·​cred·​it | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈkre-dət How to pronounce discredit (audio) \
discredited; discrediting; discredits

Definition of discredit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to refuse to accept as true or accurate : disbelieve discredit a rumor
2 : to cause disbelief in the accuracy or authority of trying to discredit the claims of a rival a discredited theory
3 : to deprive of good repute : disgrace personal attacks meant to discredit his opponent



Definition of discredit (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : loss of credit (see credit entry 1 sense 3) or reputation I knew stories to the discredit of England— W. B. Yeats
2 : lack or loss of belief or confidence : doubt contradictions cast discredit on his testimony

Examples of discredit in a Sentence

Verb The prosecution discredited the witness by showing that she had lied in the past. Many of his theories have been thoroughly discredited. an attempt to discredit the governor Noun to his everlasting discredit, the coach was found to have placed bets against his own team
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Republicans have tried for months to discredit the commission, including pressuring the nonpartisan administrator, Meagan Wolfe, to resign. Todd Richmond, ajc, 7 May 2022 Last month, Russian officials tried to discredit AP photos and reporting of the aftermath of the bombing of a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, which left a pregnant woman and her unborn child dead. Amanda Seitz And Arijeta Lajka, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Apr. 2022 Sarachan: Eileen was clearly a victim in this story, but lawyers tried to discredit her every step up the way. Risa Sarachan, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 The right has carried out a decades-long campaign to undermine and discredit the US government. Nicole Hemmer, CNN, 10 June 2021 Despite attempts to discredit Browder, to intimidate witnesses and to buy the best legal counsel available, Prevezon ultimately lost the case, the sanctions remain in place, and Browder is not doing time in Siberia. Washington Post, 15 Apr. 2022 In the courtroom on Friday morning, Kevin Downey, a lawyer for Ms. Holmes, spent nearly three hours attempting to discredit each of the government’s witnesses and raise doubt in jurors’ minds. Erin Griffith, New York Times, 17 Dec. 2021 Miller sent a lengthy email disparaging and attempting to discredit the women who came forward shortly after meeting with The Salt Lake Tribune late last month to discuss the complaints. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Apr. 2021 Russia has denied targeting nonmilitary targets and accused Ukraine of staging atrocities to discredit it. NBC News, 10 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Palisade all art forms; monitor, discredit, or expel those that challenge or destabilize processes of demonization and deification. Zadie Smith, The New Yorker, 23 Jan. 2022 City officials said Mintz’s actions did not follow the rules of good conduct and behavior and brought discredit to himself and the San Antonio Police Department. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 11 Mar. 2022 That’s no discredit to him, but rather an acknowledgment that the highest tier of NBA stars exist in a totally different pantheon. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Dec. 2021 Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown filed charges in January to fire Catanzara, citing a long list of alleged infractions that brought discredit to the department and impeded its mission. Annie Sweeney, chicagotribune.com, 15 Nov. 2021 In an 11-page stipulation of facts discussed in court, prosecutors laid out 27 instances in which Scheller disrespected senior officials and brought discredit to himself as a Marine Corps officer. Arkansas Online, 15 Oct. 2021 Just as the Copernican revolution displaced earth-centrism, this revolution must, by analogy, displace and discredit ego-centrism. Chris Lowney, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 In the current pandemic crisis, the strategy of vilifying outsiders is again being deployed to discredit investigations of the pandemic's impact. Shareen Joshi, CNN, 2 June 2021 Garcia, an 18-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, was accused of breaking several department rules including violating a law or ordinance, bringing discredit to CPD, using excessive force and failing to report it. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, 26 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discredit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of discredit


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of discredit was in 1548

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Discredit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discredit. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for discredit


dis·​cred·​it | \ dis-ˈkre-dət How to pronounce discredit (audio) \
discredited; discrediting

Kids Definition of discredit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to cause to seem dishonest or untrue discredit a report
2 : to harm the reputation of The candidates tried to discredit each other.



Kids Definition of discredit (Entry 2 of 2)

: loss of good name or respect His behavior brought discredit on the family.

More from Merriam-Webster on discredit

Nglish: Translation of discredit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of discredit for Arabic Speakers


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