Definition of credit in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkrɛdɪt/


1 [mass noun] The 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.
financial standing, financial status, solvency
1.1The money lent or borrowed under a credit arrangement: the bank refused to extend their credit [as modifier]: he exceeded 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.
2An entry recording a sum received, listed on the right-hand side or column of an account: the columns should be added across and down and the total debits should equal the total credits The opposite of debit.
More 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.
2.2 [mass noun] Entitlement to a set amount of a particular company’s goods or services, typically paid for in advance of use: in the middle of our conversation his phone ran out of credit she had £15 credit on her account
More example sentences
  • In March the company announced that it would start allowing customers to sell videogames for store credit or cash.
  • This "test" program will run for 5 days and will give consumers who trade in games an extra 20 percent in-store credit.
  • You'll have to use that credit before the end of 2013.
3 [mass noun] Public acknowledgement or praise, given or received when a person’s responsibility for an action or idea becomes apparent: the Prime Minister was quick to claim the credit for abolishing the tax
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, approval, approbation, acknowledgement, recognition, kudos, hat tip, glory, merit, regard, esteem, respect, admiration, adulation, veneration, tributes;
thanks, gratitude, appreciation
informal bouquets, brownie points
rare laudation, extolment, eulogium
3.1 [in singular] A source of pride: the fans are a credit to the club
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.
source of honour, source of pride, feather in the cap, asset, proud boast, glory, flower, gem, treasure
3.2 (also credit title) [count noun] (usually credits) An item in a list displayed at the beginning or end of a film or television programme, acknowledging a contributor’s role: 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.
4 [mass noun] chiefly North American The acknowledgement of a student’s completion of a course or activity that counts towards 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.
4.1 [count noun] A unit of study counting towards a degree or diploma: the National Certificate consists of twelve 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.
4.2 [count noun] British A grade above a pass in an examination.
Example sentences
  • In 2003 pupils were awarded a credit at Standard grade English with only 42%.
  • Like many good photographers, his career began in newspapers, passing with credits his National Council for the Training of Photojournalists exams.
  • In my opinion, they passed the examination with credit in the school of life.
4.3Acknowledgement of merit in an examination which is reflected in the marks awarded: candidates 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 [mass noun] 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.
5.1Good 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, character, image, name, good name, prestige, influence, standing, status, regard, esteem, estimation;
credibility, acceptability;
Indian  izzat
informal clout
North American informal rep, rap
archaic honour, report
rare reputability

verb (credits, crediting, credited)

[with object]
1Publicly acknowledge a contributor’s role 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, set down, impute;
lay at the door of, connect with, associate with
informal stick something on
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.
be accredited with, be recognized as, be given the credit for, be held responsible for
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.
3 [often with modal] British Believe (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, have confidence in, trust, have faith in, rely on, depend on, count on
informal go for, fall for, buy, swallow, {swallow something hook, line, and sinker}, take something as gospel



be in credit

(Of an account) have money in it: your statement shows your account to be in credit
More example sentences
  • The banks stress they only exercise this right in extreme circumstances and would only take money from an account that was in credit.
  • All the time your bank account is in credit, or you have savings, this money can be used to cut your mortgage balance and slash your interest bill.
  • It is also worth considering which bank accounts will pay you interest when your account is in credit - these rates can vary considerably.

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: people believed that buying on credit was wrong
More 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 hire purchase, on (the) HP, by instalments, by deferred payment, on account
informal on tick, on the slate
British informal on the never-never

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 his credit, he’d made a real effort with the carving
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.


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.’

Words that rhyme with credit

accredit, edit, subedit

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: credit

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