from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. That which entitles one to confidence, credit, or authority.
  • n. Evidence or testimonials concerning one's right to credit, confidence, or authority: The new ambassador presented her credentials to the president.
  • transitive v. Usage Problem To supply with credentials: "trained, professional, credentialed child care” ( Lee Salk).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of, pertaining to or entitling to credit or authority
  • n. documentary evidence that a person has certain status or privileges
  • v. to furnish with credentials

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Giving a title or claim to credit or confidence; accrediting.
  • n. That which gives a title to credit or confidence.
  • n. Testimonials showing that a person is entitled to credit, or has right to exercise official power, as the letters given by a government to an ambassador or envoy, or a certificate that one is a duly elected delegate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Giving a title to credit or confidence.
  • n. That which gives credit; that which gives a title or claim to confidence.
  • n. plural Evidences of right to credence or authority; specifically, letters of credence; testimonials given to a person as the warrant on which belief, credit, or authority is claimed for him, as the letters of commendation and authorization given by a government to an ambassador or envoy, which procure for him recognition and credit at a foreign court, or the certificate and other papers showing the appointment or election of an officer.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a document attesting to the truth of certain stated facts


From Medieval Latin crēdentiālis, giving authority, from crēdentia, trust; see credence.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin credentialis ("giving authority"), from credentia ("trust") (Wiktionary)


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