Borrowed from Latin incrēdulus (unbelieving).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɪnˈkɹɛdjʊləs/
  • (file)
  • IPA(key): /ˌɪn.ˈkrɛ.dʒə.ləs/


incredulous (comparative more incredulous, superlative most incredulous)

  1. Skeptical, disbelieving, or unable to believe. [from 16th c.]
    • 1913 January–May, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “The Gods of Mars”, in The All-Story, New York, N.Y.: Frank A. Munsey Co., OCLC 17392886; republished as “A Break for Liberty”, in The Gods of Mars, New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1918, OCLC 639726183, page 191:
      Xodar listened in incredulous astonishment to my narration of the events which had transpired within the arena at the rites of Issus.
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      In safe flats and dark restaurants, never the same one twice, we ate quiet meals, exchanged our goods and gazed upon each other with the incredulous contentment that passes between mountaineers when they are standing on the peak.
  2. Expressing or indicative of incredulity. [from 17th c.]
    • 2009, Reuters (03-18-2009), “Sun Micro Troops Fearful, Incredulous About IBM”, in[1], archived from the original on 30 June 2013, retrieved 14 June 2009
      Reactions at Sun's campus, an hour's drive from San Francisco, ranged from the fearful to the incredulous.
  3. (largely obsolete, now only nonstandard) Difficult to believe; incredible. [from 17th c.]
    • 1601, William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, III.4:
      Why euery thing adheres togither, that no dramme of a scruple, no scruple of a scruple, no obstacle, no incredulous or vnsafe circumstance [...].
    • 1984, Supreme Court of Illinois, opinion in People v Terrell, 459 N.E.2d 1337,[2] quoted in David C. Brody, James R. Acker, and Wayne A. Logan, Criminal Law,[3] Jones & Bartlett Publishers (2001), →ISBN, page 564,
      Faced with these facts, we find it incredulous that [the] defendant had any intent other than the armed robbery of the service station.

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