Definition of credential in English:

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Pronunciation: /krɪˈdɛnʃ(ə)l/


(usually credentials)
1A qualification, achievement, quality, or aspect of a person’s background, especially when used to indicate their suitability for something: recruitment is based mainly on academic credentials
More example sentences
  • He had stellar academic credentials, a tremendous background, had succeeded at everything he had done.
  • I dare say the last thing you want to be doing here is comparing credentials and educational achievements.
  • To this end, when writing up the results of their ethnographic work, authors play up their academic credentials and qualifications, their previous experience, and so on.
1.1A document proving a person’s identity or qualifications: examine carefully the credentials of all callers before admitting them
More example sentences
  • The United States government is moving towards issuing single smart card identity credentials for all federal employees.
  • Checking out his credentials proved to be a difficult task.
  • Trusts which are anxious to show their governance credentials will identify innovators as low risk targets for attention.
documents, papers, identity papers, identification papers, bona fides;
warrant, licence, permit, pass, ID, card, ID card, identity card, passport, proof of identity, proof of qualifications, certificate, diploma, voucher, documentation;
references, testimonial, letter of introduction, letter of recommendation, missive, deed, title
1.2A letter of introduction given by a government to an ambassador before a new posting: the Russian ambassador presented his credentials on September 30
More example sentences
  • It's only a month since I presented my credentials as Ambassador to President Purvanov.
  • Generally, these protections are given to persons holding letters of credentials from Foreign Ministers or other high-level authorisation.
  • The King had reintroduced the ceremonial horse and carriage and tails requirement for Ambassadors presenting their credentials.


[with object] (usually as adjective credentialed) chiefly North American
Provide with credentials: inspections were to be done by a group of credentialed inspectors
More example sentences
  • They were also credentialed within the hospital by the medical staff credentialing committee of the institution.
  • In addition, I'll be writing something addressing emails I've received concerning the RNC credentialing system.
  • Hospital credentialing committees are always vulnerable to charges of political and economic conflict, and state boards are, shall we say, under-funded, under-staffed and under-competent.


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin credentialis, from credentia (see credence). The original use was as an adjective in the sense 'giving credence to, recommending', frequently in credential letters or papers, hence credentials (mid 17th century).

Words that rhyme with credential

cadential, confidential, consequential, deferential, differential, essential, evidential, existential, experiential, exponential, influential, intelligential, irreverential, jurisprudential, penitential, pestilential, potential, preferential, presidential, providential, prudential, quintessential, referential, residential, reverential, sapiential, sciential, sentential, sequential, tangential, torrential

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cre¦den|tial

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