The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is credulous. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.
What It Means
A credulous person is ready to believe things based on slight or uncertain evidence. A credulous thing, such as a report or statement, likewise shows that same readiness to believe.
// Margo smiled as she watched her credulous siblings listening with rapt attention to their aunt’s tall tales.
CREDULOUS in Context
“A pair of fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes raked in millions by duping credulous investors, Manhattan and Brooklyn federal prosecutors said Tuesday.” — Noah Goldberg, The Daily News (New York), 9 Mar. 2022
Did You Know?
The cred in credulous is from Latin credere, meaning “to believe” or “to trust.” Credulous describes people who would be wise to be a bit more skeptical, or things that ought to be approached with some skepticism. The word has a useful opposite in the term incredulous, which often describes something that shows or suggests one’s lack of belief (“listening with an incredulous smile”), or someone who cannot or will not believe something, as in “an outrageous statement that left them incredulous.” (You’ll do well not to confuse incredulous with incredible.)