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Credible vs. Creditable

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2:37 min read
  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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Talk about words that can be confused easily … creditable and credible are a prime example.  While they sound alike, and their meanings come close, they are two completely separate terms with definitions that deserve clarity.

The student's effort on the essay, though not outstanding, was creditable.

Do you think the above sentence is right? Shouldn’t there be credible instead of creditable?

This article will cover all there is to know about the two words starting from their origin to everyday examples.

Credible as adjective:

Credible is used as an adjective in English language where it means able to be believed; convincing.

Few people found his story credible.

Credible also means capable of persuading people that something will happen or be successful. It has synonyms like believable, plausible, able to hold water, within the bounds of possibility, reasonable, sound and compelling.

He gave us a credible threat.

Creditable as adjective:

Creditable is also used as an adjective which means (of a performance, effort, or action) deserving public acknowledgement and praise but not necessarily outstanding or successful.

The Squires got a very creditable 2–4 defeat.

Credible vs. Creditable


“…The final conclusion is that whilst there is a possibility the alleged comments in relation to the S.A.S.’s involvement in the deaths may have been made, there is no credible evidence to support a theory that such claims had any basis in fact.” (Vanity Fair)

The internal U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services documents, which were obtained by an advocacy group called the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, pertain to what are known as “credible fear” interviews. (The Los Angeles Times)

HIPAA required that small-group health plans could not deny coverage to those who had maintained creditable coverage in the recent past, without any significant breaks; i.e., coverage gaps of 63 days or longer. (Forbes)

Under the new rules, proprietors or operators of sugar mills/refineries  and direct buyers of quedans or molasses storage certificates from the sugar planters on locally produced raw sugar and molasses shall withhold the creditable income tax and remit the same to the BIR based on the applicable base price of P1,000 per 50 kilogram bag and P4,000 per metric tons, respectively. (The Philippine Star)

Tharoor said “modernists sneering at Harsh Vardhan should know he was right” and added that the “genuine accomplishments of ancient Indian science” should not be debunked for mocking the “credulous exaggerations of the Hindutva brigade”. (The Indian Express)

She is only now finding out about these promises, revealed in slow, painful phases and sold off as a foreign investment to a credulous electorate. (The Times of Malta)

Credible or creditable:

Credible is an adjective which means believable or trustworthy, convincing, able to persuade people of a successful outcome. Derived words are credibility, credibly, and credibleness. Credible first appears in the late fourteenth century from the Latin credibilis, meaning worthy to be believed. Creditable is an adjective which means deserving of acknowledgement, praiseworthy. Creditable refers to one who deserves credit. Derived words are creditableness, creditability and creditably. Creditable appears in the 1520s as a combination of the word credit and the suffix -able.


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