1. That which entitles one to confidence, credit, or authority.
2. credentials Evidence or testimonials concerning one's right to credit, confidence, or authority: The new ambassador presented her credentials to the president.
tr.v. cre·den·tialed, cre·den·tial·ing, cre·den·tials
To supply with credentials: "trained, professional, credentialed child care" (Lee Salk).
[From Medieval Latin crēdentiālis, giving authority, from crēdentia, trust; see CREDENCE.]
Usage Note: The use of the participle credentialed to refer to certified teachers and other professionals is well established (She became credentialed through a graduate program at a local college), but its more general use to mean "possessing professional or expert credentials" is still widely considered jargon. The sentence The board heard testimony from a number of credentialed witnesses was unacceptable to 85 percent of the Usage Panel in our 1988 survey and to 59 percent in our 2006 survey, indicating that although resistance to it is lessening, its use is still not broadly accepted.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus