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From Medieval Latin crēdentiālis (giving authority), from Latin crēdentia (trust).


  • IPA(key): /kɹɪˈdɛnʃəl/
  • (file)


credential (comparative more credential, superlative most credential)

  1. Pertaining to or serving as an introduction or recommendation (to someone). [from 15th c.]
    • 1625-1629, Abraham Darcie/Darcy and Thomas Browne (translators), The History of the Most Renowned and Victorious Princess Elizabeth, Late Queen of England (originally by William Camden)
      their credential letters on both sides



credential (plural credentials)

  1. (chiefly in the plural) documentary or electronic evidence that a person has certain status or privileges
    May I see your credentials, please?
    The computer verifies the user's credentials before allowing them to log on.
  2. (informal) Evidence of skill or excellence.
    • 2023 April 6, Emma Sanders, “Women's Finalissima:England beat Brazil in dramatic shutout”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      They deserved their half-time lead and looked fully in control until Brazil made changes at the break and began to show their credentials in attack.

Derived terms[edit]



credential (third-person singular simple present credentials, present participle credentialing or credentialling, simple past and past participle credentialed or credentialled)

  1. to furnish with credentials
    • 1997, Paul Thomas Hill et al., Reinventing Public Education[2], →ISBN, page 138:
      School superintendents, principals, and teachers are currently credentialed only by the state.
    • 2009 March 7, By Patrick Walters, “Rudd orders worldwide push for UN seat”, in Herald Sun[3]:
      The newly credentialled ambassador to the Holy See is already in the PM's good books.

See also[edit]