[kri-den-shuh l]


Usually credentials. evidence of authority, status, rights, entitlement to privileges, or the like, usually in written form: Only those with the proper credentials are admitted.
anything that provides the basis for confidence, belief, credit, etc.

verb (used with object), cre·den·tialed, cre·den·tial·ing or especially British cre·den·tialled, cre·den·tial·ling.

to grant credentials to, especially educational and professional ones: She has been credentialed to teach math.


providing the basis for confidence, belief, credit, etc.

Origin of credential

1425–75; late Middle English credencial < Medieval Latin crēdenti(a) credence + -al1
Related formsun·cre·den·tialed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for credentials

Contemporary Examples of credentials

Historical Examples of credentials

  • He could show his credentials at a moment's notice with proud defiance.

  • The sign and credentials of the poet are that he announces that which no man foretold.

    Essays, Second Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • "I think that first, perhaps, I should look at your credentials," Vard suggested.

    The Destroyer

    Burton Egbert Stevenson

  • Let us first have our dinner, M'Kinlay, and then I'll write your credentials.

    Luttrell Of Arran

    Charles James Lever

  • If you think I am lying, young gentlemen, I will show you my credentials.

    Frank Merriwell's Cruise

    Burt L. Standish

British Dictionary definitions for credentials



something that entitles a person to confidence, authority, etc
(plural) a letter or certificate giving evidence of the bearer's identity or competence


entitling one to confidence, authority, etc
Derived Formscredentialed, adjective

Word Origin for credential

C16: from Medieval Latin crēdentia credit, trust; see credence
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for credentials

"letters entitling the bearer to certain credit or confidence," 1670s, from Medieval Latin credentialis, from credentia (see credence). Probably immediately as a shortening of letters credential (1520s, with French word order); earlier was letter of credence (mid-14c.).



"that which entitles to credit," 1756, probably a back-formation from credentials. Earlier in English as an adjective, "confirming, corroborating" (late 15c.). As a verb, "provide with credentials," by 1828 (implied in dredentialed).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper