Attested since 1430. From Middle English incredulite, from Old French incredulité, from Late Latin incredulitas, from Latin incredulus (unbelieving) + -itas (-ity), equivalent to incredulous +‎ -ity.


  • IPA(key): /ˌɪnkɹɪˈdjuːlɪti/


incredulity (usually uncountable, plural incredulities)

  1. Unwillingness or inability to believe; doubt about the truth or verisimilitude of something; disbelief.
    • 1916, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, ch. 24:
      Wide went her eyes in wonder and incredulity, as she beheld this seeming apparition risen from the dead.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 8, in The China Governess[1]:
      It was a casual sneer, obviously one of a long line. There was hatred behind it, but of a quiet, chronic type, nothing new or unduly virulent, and he was taken aback by the flicker of amazed incredulity that passed over the younger man's ravaged face.
    • 1967, Sleigh, Barbara, Jessamy, 1993 edition, Sevenoaks, Kent: Bloomsbury, →ISBN, page 122:
      At any other time Jessamy would have laughed at the expressions that chased each other over his freckled face: crossness left over from his struggle with the baby; incredulity; distress; and finally delight.
  2. (rare) Religious disbelief, lack of faith.



Related termsEdit