Definition of discredit in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪsˈkrɛdɪt/

verb (discredits, discrediting, discredited)

[with object]
1Harm the good reputation of: his remarks were taken out of context in an effort to discredit him (as adjective discredited) a discredited government
More example sentences
  • She wanted the President to believe in her innocence, and that she loves the country and she would never do anything to harm or discredit the citizens..
  • The defendants engineered an ulterior motive to discredit the claimant's reputation by writing maliciously about him in the practice teacher's report.
  • It may be an invention to discredit his posthumous reputation and supporters.
disgrace, dishonour, bring into disrepute, damage someone's reputation, blacken someone's name, destroy someone's credibility, drag through the mud/mire, put/show in a bad light, reflect badly on, compromise, give someone a bad name, bring into disfavour;
stigmatize, detract from, disparage, denigrate, devalue, diminish, demean, belittle;
defame, slander, cast aspersions on, malign, vilify, calumniate, smear, tarnish, besmirch, soil;
North American  slur
informal do a hatchet job on
literary smirch, besmear
1.1Cause (an idea or account) to seem false or unreliable: his explanation for the phenomenon was soon discredited
More example sentences
  • In its most common form, this fallacy attempts to discredit an idea or belief by associating it with an undesirable person or a group.
  • Can we expect to defeat terrorism without also discrediting the ideas and passions that underlie it?
  • After all, why not attempt to discredit a person's thoughts when you have nothing to go with?
challenge, dispute, raise doubts about, shake one's faith in
informal debunk, shoot full of holes, shoot down (in flames), blow sky-high, blow out of the water


[mass noun]
1Loss or lack of reputation or respect: they committed crimes which brought discredit upon the administration
More example sentences
  • Within a month he was accused of ‘conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the military service,’ and his trial began in Washington.
  • And if so, then that clearly is the sort of behavior that does bring discredit upon the House and ought to be basis for some action by the Ethics Committee.
  • He brings discredit upon himself by using this publication as a forum for his whining.
dishonour, disrepute, ill repute, loss of reputation, loss of respect, disgrace, shame, humiliation, ignominy, infamy, notoriety;
censure, blame, reproach, odium, opprobrium;
stigma, harm, damage, scandal
rare disesteem
1.1 [count noun] A person or thing that is a source of disgrace: the ships were a discredit to the country
More example sentences
  • The party councillor, also supporting the no confidence motion, said: ‘It is a discredit to the whole chamber.’
  • What a discredit to teachers he is.
  • It is a discredit to the struggle of the people and a severe slap at the peaceful religion movement.
disgrace, source of disgrace, source of shame, reproach;
bad reflection on, blot on the escutcheon of


Mid 16th century: from dis- (expressing reversal) + credit, on the pattern of Italian (di)scredito (noun), (di)screditare (verb), and French discrédit (noun), discréditer (verb).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dis|credit

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