AskDefine | Define credulity

Dictionary Definition

credulity n : tendency to believe readily

User Contributed Dictionary



From French credulité, or directly from Latin credulitas.




  1. A willingness to believe in someone or something in the absence of reasonable proof.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The history of Tom Jones, Book 6,
      Do you think Mr. Allworthy hath more contempt for money than other men because he professes more? Such credulity would better become one of us weak women, than that wise sex which heaven hath formed for politicians. Indeed, brother, you would make a fine plenipo to negotiate with the French.
  2. The quality of being credible or worthy of belief; credence.
    • 1912, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World, ch. 9,
      As Challenger spoke of his pterodactyl I glanced at Professor Summerlee, and for the first time I seemed to see some signs of a dawning credulity and repentance. There was no sneer upon his thin lips, but, on the contrary, a gray, drawn look of excitement and amazement. Challenger saw it, too, and reveled in the first taste of victory.


  • Webster 1828
  • Webster 1913
  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.
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