1. That which entitles one to confidence, credit, or authority.
2. credentials Evidence or testimonials concerning one's right to credit, confidence, or authority: The new ambassador presented her credentials to the president.
tr.v. cre·den·tialed, cre·den·tial·ing, cre·den·tials
To supply with credentials: "trained, professional, credentialed child care" (Lee Salk).
[From Medieval Latin crēdentiālis, giving authority, from crēdentia, trust; see CREDENCE.]
Usage Note: The use of the participle credentialed to refer to certified teachers and other professionals is well established (She became credentialed through a graduate program at a local college), but its more general use to mean "possessing professional or expert credentials" is still widely considered jargon. The sentence The board heard testimony from a number of credentialed witnesses was unacceptable to 85 percent of the Usage Panel in our 1988 survey and to 59 percent in our 2006 survey, indicating that although resistance to it is lessening, its use is still not broadly accepted.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.