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credit Syllabification: cred·it
Pronunciation: /ˈkredət/

Definition of credit in English:


1The ability of a customer to obtain goods or services before payment, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future: I’ve got unlimited credit
More example sentences
  • Those students are reportedly now dealing with damaged credit or difficulty obtaining financial aid, Nahmias said.
  • Asset-based lenders look at other factors - your customers' credit, for example.
  • In so doing, On Time enables dealers to take a chance on customers with bad credit.
1.1The money lent or made available under a credit arrangement: the bank refused to extend their credit [as modifier]: he was exceeding his credit limit
More example sentences
  • The society added that abolishing the current system of debt recovery would discourage firms from advancing credit or lending money.
  • If you are a late payer or inclined to exceed your credit limit, Tusa does not impose any penalty charges and its standard rate is a competitive 17.5 per cent.
  • Paying by credit card is normally the most secure method but this might not be possible if you are buying a boat whose price exceeds your credit limit.
loan, advance, financing;
informal plastic
2An entry recording a sum received, listed on the right-hand side or column of an account. The opposite of debit.
Example sentences
  • For example, total charges must equal total credits.
  • Not an exciting day, but I think the books balanced pretty well, a little on the debit side, and just about as much in the credit columns, so I'm pleased enough with it.
  • After she recovered from her initial surprise, the teller gave him full access to Alex's account, checking the credits with slightly shaking hands.
2.1A payment received: you need to record debits or credits made to your account
More example sentences
  • Automated clearings are used for credit and debit transfers such as standing order payments, direct credits, and direct debits.
  • I have been lucky enough to receive payment of credits - but the payment was erratic.
  • The $700,000 incentive package comprises tax refund credits and a grant payment program.
3Public acknowledgment or praise, typically that given or received when a person’s responsibility for an action or idea becomes or is made apparent: the president claims credit for each accomplishment
More example sentences
  • Several diary writers have claimed credit for the idea, which could even derive from the First World War trenches.
  • You wanted to steal my ideas and claim credit for them.
  • The board, often criticised in the past for taking too long to settle claims, deserves credit for its swift response in this case.
praise, commendation, acclaim, acknowledgment, recognition, kudos, glory, esteem, respect, thanks, admiration, tributes, gratitude, appreciation
informal bouquets, brownie points, marks
3.1 [in singular] A source of pride, typically someone or something that reflects well on another person or organization: he’s a credit to his mother
More example sentences
  • Forty five children represented our area with pride and were a credit to themselves and their families.
  • Since then the place has been well kept, the grass cut and it is always neat and tidy and a credit to the local community which take pride in their place.
  • She always took great pride in her garden which was a credit to her.
3.2 (usually credits) An acknowledgment of a contributor’s services to a movie or a television program, typically one of a list that is scrolled down the screen at the beginning or end of a movie or program: the closing credits finished rolling
More example sentences
  • In the programme's opening credits, a cameraman on a large pulley produced a brilliant camera angle.
  • While I'm mentioning crewmembers, you'll see Joel Coen listed in the credits as Assistant Film Editor.
  • High Sierra was the last time Bogart's name would not be listed first in film credits.
4chiefly North American The acknowledgment of a student’s completion of a course that counts toward a degree or diploma as maintained in a school’s records: a student can earn one unit of academic credit
More example sentences
  • Students enrolled in these courses usually receive academic credit on both their high school and college transcripts.
  • Many of the sites offered community college credit for courses taken as part of a high school diploma.
  • Increasingly, advanced high school students receive both high school and college credit by taking college distance learning courses.
4.1A unit of study counting toward a degree or diploma: in his first semester he earned 17 credits
More example sentences
  • The geography department is also counting the project as credits towards Rogers' degree.
  • Students not admitted at first try often go into liberal arts where they can work on their prerequisites and accumulate credits toward their degree.
  • Excelling in mathematics and computer studies, he earned 77 college credits, an Associates degree and a paralegal certificate.
4.2Acknowledgment of merit in an examination which is reflected in the grades awarded: students will receive credit for accuracy and style
More example sentences
  • But he added that universities had a responsibility to make clear to markers ‘what gives credit for a mark’.
  • Extra credit was awarded to any monitor that had some feature of significant value or excellence beyond what was covered in the normal evaluation process.
  • Another teacher gave extra credit to students who spoke up in class.
5 archaic The quality of being believed or credited: the abstract philosophy of Cicero has lost its credit
More example sentences
  • I think the government has lost its credit on the question of human rights.
  • He dissembled with one or the other, and by so doing lost his credit with both.
5.1Favorable estimation; good reputation: John Gilpin was a citizen of credit and renown
More example sentences
  • Then he asked me, whether he was a man of credit? I answered, I thought he was.
  • She was a woman of great credit and reputation on all accounts.
reputation, repute, image, name, good name, character, prestige, standing, status, estimation, credibility

verb (credits, crediting, credited)

[with object] Back to top  
1Publicly acknowledge someone as a participant in the production of (something published or broadcast): the screenplay is credited to one American and two Japanese writers
More example sentences
  • Any photos or clips that are selected for the final production will be credited to the sender at the end of the film.
  • Last Sunday we published a correction crediting the Journal of Commerce for the seven paragraphs.
  • The lean direction is credited to Christian Nyby, but producer Howard Hawks' fingerprints are everywhere.
ascribe, attribute, assign, accredit, chalk up, put down
1.1 (credit someone with) Ascribe (an achievement or good quality) to someone: he is credited with painting one hundred and twenty-five canvases
More example sentences
  • But our Founding Fathers crafted and drafted a better Constitution than they have been credited with.
  • It is not known when the mighty dogs first started to rescue people, but they are credited with saving some 2,000 travellers over the past 200 years on the Saint Bernard Pass on the border with Italy.
  • Serving as the Czech prime minister from 1993 to 1997, he was credited with successfully transforming the Czech economy.
2Add (an amount of money) to an account: this deferred tax can be credited to the profit and loss account
More example sentences
  • But the problem arises only where an amount is credited to a wrong account as a result of an error in decoding or of the insertion of inaccurate details in the bank giro credit.
  • Benefits would be paid according to the amounts credited to each account.
  • Letters will go out in March informing customers of the size of any refund and the money will be credited to accounts in June.
3Believe (something surprising or unlikely): you would hardly credit it—but it was true
More example sentences
  • As a former broadcasting journalist of some 17 years or so experience, I cannot credit that anyone actually believes that.
  • Most conservative commentators are either unwilling even to credit the debate or approach it only in the most polemical fashion.
  • The legendary blues singer may have just turned 72 but you would hardly credit it as the star hits the road for a new six-leg European tour.
believe, accept, give credence to, trust, have faith in
informal buy, swallow, fall for, take something as gospel (truth)


Mid 16th century (originally in the senses 'belief', 'credibility'): from French crédit, probably via Italian credito from Latin creditum, neuter past participle of credere 'believe, trust'.

  • People first used the word credit (ultimately from Latin credere ‘to believe or trust’) to mean ‘belief’ and ‘trustworthiness’. The modern sense developed from the idea of, say, a shopkeeper's trust that a customer will pay for goods at a later time. Credere also gave us creed (Old English), credence (Middle English) , credential (Late Middle English), credible (Late Middle English), and incredulous (late 16th century). You can give credit where credit is due to show that you think someone deserves to be given praise. The earlier form of the saying was ‘honour where honour is due’, a phrase from the Bible, from the Epistle to the Romans: ‘Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.’


credit where credit is due

Praise given when it is deserved, even if one is reluctant to give it.
Example sentences
  • He believed in giving credit where credit is due and I will continue that.
  • I'm a big believer in always giving credit where credit is due, and one of the best things a person can do is remind someone that they have the power to take something and make it better.
  • I think it's very important to give credit where credit is due.

do someone credit (or do credit to someone)

Make someone worthy of praise or respect: your concern does you credit
More example sentences
  • Your inclination to see the best in people does you credit.
  • ‘They've been over-generous really, which does them credit,’ said one.
  • Such humility does him credit as a person but not as manager.

give someone credit for

Commend someone for (a quality or achievement), especially with reluctance or surprise: please give me credit for some sense
More example sentences
  • Elliott is a much better defender than most people give him credit for, as well as being a quality perimeter shooter.
  • Obviously, they are a much better side than they have been given credit for and they dismissed the suggestion, in no uncertain terms, that the team revolves around a number of key players.
  • I think the populace is a lot more astute than they are given credit for.

have something to one's credit

Have achieved something notable: he has 65 tournament wins to his credit
More example sentences
  • Though young, he has many achievements to his credit.
  • But a dwindling band of reform-minded supporters say the prime minister does have some successes to his credit.
  • The two lads have many successful recordings to their credit.

on credit

With an arrangement to pay later.
Example sentences
  • Don't be tempted to buy on credit if you can't pay it back.
  • Nowadays I do not buy anything on credit, I save for it.
  • However, try not to buy anything else on credit while you still have this debt, otherwise you'll be back to square one.

on the credit side

As a good aspect of the situation: on the credit side, the text is highly readable
More example sentences
  • Let's balance up the ledger because drug companies seem to evoke irrational responses despite the fact that, on the credit side of the ledger, modern medicines have led a revolution in improving the health of millions.
  • Poor decisions cost the Town a Mid-Ulster Cup final place but on the credit side, Newry's battling performance augurs well for their hopes of staying in the Premier league.
  • Cork have yet to produce their best form, Cunningham agrees, but, on the credit side, the team has shown in different games that they are still capable of reaching the heights.

to one's credit

Used to indicate that something praiseworthy has been achieved, especially despite difficulties: to her credit, she had never betrayed a confidence
More example sentences
  • His mum was desperate to keep him out of trouble and to her credit she achieved that.
  • Scotland, to their credit in the circumstances, have become difficult to beat at Hampden.
  • It is to your credit that while in prison you have addressed your drug problem.

Words that rhyme with credit

accredit, edit, subedit

Definition of credit in:

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