Definition of credential in English:

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Pronunciation: /krəˈden(t)SHəl/


(usually credentials)
1A qualification, achievement, personal quality, or aspect of a person’s background, typically when used to indicate that they are suitable 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 or certificate proving a person’s identity or qualifications.
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, documentation, papers, identity papers, bona fides, ID, ID card, identity card, passport, proof of identity;
certificates, diplomas, certification, references
1.2A letter of introduction given by a government to an ambassador before a new posting.
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.


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

Syllabification: cre·den·tial

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