Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: discrédit



dis- +‎ credit.


  • IPA(key): /dɪsˈkrɛdɪt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛdɪt


discredit (third-person singular simple present discredits, present participle discrediting, simple past and past participle discredited)

  1. (transitive) To harm the good reputation of a person; to cause an idea or piece of evidence to seem false or unreliable.
    The candidate tried to discredit his opponent.
    The evidence would tend to discredit such a theory.


Derived terms[edit]



discredit (countable and uncountable, plural discredits)

  1. (countable or uncountable) Discrediting or disbelieving.
    • 1846, The London Quarterly Review, page 45:
      Mr. Burton disbelieves it, and has brought sufficient reasons for his discredit of so improbable a story.
    • 1892, The Nation; Volume 55, page 244:
      It would have been too serious a task to verify his numerous citations in our very careful reading for the present notice; but we are bound to say that, observing his discredit of some of the passages which he quotes from a contemporary American writer, and struck ourselves with the apparent inexactness of the statements in teste extracts (pp. 579, 616, 647), we were led to compare his citations, and, to our surprise, we find them incorrect and even garbled, and in one place where he had queried (thus (?)) the fact, we were surprised to find the doubt pertained to one of his own interpolations in the extracts.
    • 1987, The Nairobi Law Monthly, page 142:
      Madan encouraged many believers in the supremacy of justice to struggle for human rights within the established systems in order to purify the image of the national institutions against any discredits by biased and unjust people.
    • 1995, Edward Malatesta, Yves Raguin, Images de la Chine:
      As we find in a number of parts of Cho\ng's writings his belief in the personified image of Heaven and his discredit of the fundamental and universal nature and the ultimacy of li, we find it difficult to assume that he was not affected by the Jesuit writings he had read.
    • 2002, Jack J. Chinn, The Issues of Life in Poetic Verse, →ISBN, page 231:
      The detractors of the Christian faith seem to revel in their "discredit of anything scientific concerning the basis of the belief that God is the causal Creator of man, yet offer no scientific 'proof that their criticisms are valid and their beliefs that there is no God, or first cause in creation, are provable by the evidence they present to the world.
  2. (countable) A person or thing that causes harm to a reputation, as of a person, family, or institution.
    • 1761, Samuel Richardson, The History of Sir Charles Grandison[1]:
      [] that now and then a young man of that profession did actually appear among us, who was not a discredit to his country.
    • 1889, Parliamentary Debates[2], New Zealand. Parliament. House of Representatives, page 7:
      I felt at the time that to pass it so hastily would be a discredit to Parliament, as custodian of the liberties of the people of this country. I felt, too, that it would be a discredit to the colony, and a discredit, a deep discredit, to the Government
    • 1971, Curt Flood, Richard Carter, The way it is[3], page 18:
      The animal informed me that if it were not for the great game of baseball I would be chopping cotton or pushing a broom. And that I was a discredit to my race. By definition, any black hurts his people if he is other than abjectly, supinely, hand-lickingly grateful for having been allowed to earn a decent living.
    • 2009, Don't Ask, Don't Tell Review: Hearing Before the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the Committee on Armed Services[4], US House of Representatives:
      And for now to have a policy where those fine Americans can only serve if they lie about who they are is a discredit to the American people. It is a discredit to their service and their opportunity. It is a discredit to people who have died in service.
    • 2015, Daniel Iyeks, The Perils of the Young Blacks[5]:
      Inadequate, undisciplined, and nondevoted teachers are discredits to the schools they serve.
  3. (uncountable) The state of being discredited or disbelieved.
    Later accounts have brought the story into discredit.
  4. (uncountable) A degree of dishonour or disesteem; ill repute; reproach.
    • 1815, Doctor Rogers, “A good Life the best Ornament of the Christian Profession” (sermon), in Family Lectures: or, a copious Collection of Sermons, F. C. and J. Rivington et al., page 351:
      It is the duty of every Christian to be concerned for the reputation or discredit his life may bring on his profession.




  • discredit in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • discredit at OneLook Dictionary Search.



From French discrédit.


discredit n (uncountable)

  1. disrepute