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See also: Creed



An Orthodox icon depicting the Constantine the Great and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325 C.E.) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381, an updated version of the Nicene Creed prepared by the First Council

From Middle English crede, from Old English crēda, crēdo, from Latin crēdō (I believe), from Proto-Italic *krezdō, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱred dʰeh₁- (to place one's heart, i.e., to trust, believe), a compound phrase of the oblique case form of *ḱḗr (heart). Creed is cognate with Old Irish cretim (to believe), Sanskrit श्रद्दधाति (śráddadhāti, to have faith or faithfulness, to have belief or confidence, believe). Doublet of shraddha.



creed (plural creeds)

  1. That which is believed; accepted doctrine, especially religious doctrine; a particular set of beliefs; any summary of principles or opinions professed or adhered to.
    • 1813, Lord Byron, The Giaour, a Fragment of a Turkish Tale, London: [] T[homas] Davison, [], for John Murray, [], →OCLC, page 12:
      Oh! who young Leila's glance could read / And keep that portion of his creed / Which saith, that woman is but dust, / A soulless toy for tyrant's lust?
    • 1923, Song Ong Siang, “The Tenth Decade (1909–19): Second Part”, in One Hundred Years’ History of the Chinese in Singapore: [], London: John Murray, [], →OCLC, page 522:
      For three successive years, thereafter, as the anniversary of the War [i.e., World War I] came round, equally large assemblies of British subjects of all races and creeds came together in the [Victoria] Theatre to reaffirm the resolution to carry on the war to a victorious end, until at last, after many vicissitudes, victory was secured to the Allies.
    • 1982 February 12, Steve Harris (lyrics and music), “Run to the Hills”, performed by Iron Maiden:
      He killed our tribes he killed our creed. / He took our game for his own need
    • 2017 April 6, Samira Shackle, “On the frontline with Karachi’s ambulance drivers”, in The Guardian[1], London, archived from the original on 29 June 2017:
      Pakistan is a conservative, religious state. The Edhi Foundation is unusual in its ignoring of caste, creed, religion and sect. This strict stance has led to some criticism from religious groups.
  2. (specifically, religion) A reading or statement of belief that summarizes the faith it represents; a confession of faith for public use, especially one which is brief and comprehensive.
    A creed is a manifesto of religious or spiritual beliefs
    • 1604, Jeremy Corderoy, A Short Dialogve, wherein is Proved, that No Man can be Saved without Good VVorkes, 2nd edition, Oxford: Printed by Ioseph Barnes, and are to be sold in Paules Church-yard at the signe of the Crowne, by Simon Waterson, →OCLC, page 40:
      [N]ow ſuch a liue vngodly, vvithout a care of doing the wil of the Lord (though they profeſſe him in their mouths, yea though they beleeue and acknowledge all the Articles of the Creed, yea haue knowledge of the Scripturs) yet if they liue vngodly, they deny God, and therefore ſhal be denied, []
    • 2015, Alister [Edgar] McGrath, “Getting the Most out of Apostles’ Creed”, in Apostles’ Creed (LifeGuide Bible Studies), Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, →ISBN, page 6:
      The Apostles' Creed was not the only creed to come into existence in the period of the early church. However, it is the oldest and simplest creed of the church. All Christian traditions recognize its authority and its importance as a standard of doctrine. To study the Apostles' Creed is to investigate a central element of our common Christian heritage.
  3. (rare) The fact of believing; belief, faith.
    • 1819, [Lord Byron], “Canto I”, in Don Juan, London: Printed by Thomas Davison, Whitefriars, →OCLC, stanza CVI, page 56:
      Oh love! how perfect is thy mystic art, / Strengthening the weak, and trampling on the strong, / How self-deceitful is the sagest part / Of mortals whom thy lure hath led along— / The precipice she stood on was immense, / So was her creed in her own innocence.


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creed (third-person singular simple present creeds, present participle creeding, simple past and past participle creeded)

  1. (transitive, intransitive, obsolete, only survives in "creeded") To believe; to credit.
  2. (intransitive) To provide with a creed.
    • 1872, “The Survivor” [pseudonym; Walter Rowton], “Part the Fourth”, in Hal and I. In Four Parts, London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, →OCLC, page 122:
      The poor like Priests—Priests utilise the poor; / High Church the common people feeding / Exclaims—"You Low Church indolents observe / How we go about leavening and creeding!"
    • 1977, Peter Slater, “Religion as Story: The Biography of Norman Bethune”, in Peter Slater, editor, Religion and Culture in Canada = Religion et Culture au Canada, Toronto, Ont.: Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion, →ISBN, page 290:
      Especially in the studies of religions less creeded than Christianity scholars have long insisted on the importance in religion of sacred stories.



Further reading[edit]





  1. second-person plural imperative of creer