1. Capable of being believed; believable or plausible: a credible witness; a credible explanation. See Synonyms at plausible.
2. Considered capable of achieving a goal: The party must nominate a credible candidate for governor.
3. Being of sufficient military capability to deter an attack or carry out an operation successfully: credible military force.
[Middle English, from Latin crēdibilis, from crēdere, to believe; see kerd- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: Credible is widely but incorrectly used where credulous would be appropriate. Credulous means "believing too readily" or "gullible," as in He was credulous (not credible) enough to believe the manufacturer's claims.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus