believe, trust

Quick Summary

The Latin root word cred means “believe.” This Latin root is the word origin of a good number of English vocabulary words, including credit, credo, and credentials. The Latin root word cred is easily recalled through the English word incredible, for if something incredible happens it can hardly be “believed.”

Give Yourself Credit

The Latin root word cred means “believe.” This podcast will up your credentials when it comes to understanding words with the root word cred in them—“believe” it!

Let’s say that a friend of yours just told you that he flew to the moon. You, of course, would consider this to be incredible, or not to be “believed.” Thus you would be incredulous, not “believing” that that had happened (unless you are the credulous type, tending to “believe” in just about anything). You may, however, later consider that incredible feat as credible, or “believable,” once you realize that you’ve somehow time-traveled to the late 23rd century when flights like that have become routine!

If someone has given you credit for doing something, she “believes” that you did it. This is the basic idea behind financial “credit.” When a bank offers you a credit card, it “believes” that you have the financial ability to handle the amount you charge on it up to the credit limit of the card. The amount of money, or credit line, that the bank gives you is the amount of money it “believes” you’ll be able to handle financially, and “believes” that you can afford to pay back. The bank, therefore, is the creditor, or one granting the “belief” in its clients’ financial ability.

When someone is job hunting she must provide her credentials on her resume, or those qualifications which lead a potential employer to “believe” that she will be able to do the job for which she is applying. If these credentials are checked and turn out to be false, that job applicant would most likely be immediately discredited, or no longer “believed” to be fit for the job … or to be trustworthy, for that matter. The process of accreditation determines whether what a school says is “believable” in regards to what it says it is doing for educating students, that is, how much credit people can give the school.

People “believe” in a lot of things. A credo," which is Latin for “I believe,” is a statement of a personal, group, or religious “belief;” a creed, on the other hand, is usually just a religious “belief.”

“Believe” it or not, incredible as it may seem, incredulous as you may now be, this podcast on the root word cred is now over … and you can “believe” that!

  1. incredible: not to be “believed”
  2. incredulous: not “believing” something
  3. credulous: too easily “believing” something
  4. credible: to be “believed”
  5. credit: state of being “believed”
  6. credit card: a bank card that allows purchases up to an amount that the bank “believes” can be paid back
  7. credit limit: the top range of expenditure on a “credit” card
  8. credit line: the amount of money available to someone on her “credit” card
  9. creditor: financial institution which grants “belief” in a client’s ability to handle money
  10. credentials: those qualities which lend “belief” in a job applicant’s abilities
  11. discredit: move apart from “believing” in someone
  12. accreditation: process of ascertaining “belief” or “trust” in what a school says it does
  13. credo: statement of “belief”
  14. creed: statement of a religious “belief”


  • credulous

    A credulous person is very ready to believe what people tell them; therefore, they can be easily tricked or cheated.

  • credence

    Credence is the mental act of believing or accepting that something is true.

  • credible

    If you give credible evidence, it is easy to believe or trust.

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