Definition of discredit in English:

Share this entry


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).

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words