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  • Adj.




Caroline was a trusting and credulous person: she readily believed what anyone told her. Her accepting and credulous nature caused some problems when acquaintances asked her for money because she always granted their requests without any hesitation. Her brother Jack could not believe this, being completely incredulous that his sister was so foolish as to give loans to people she barely knew. Despite Jack’s warnings, Caroline kept her credulous and unquestioning ways, and soon she was added to the numbers of those declaring bankruptcy.

Quiz: What is an example of a credulous person?

  • Someone who tries to always see the positive side of things.
  • Someone who avoids saying things that aren’t true.
  • Someone who believes everything they are told.

Memory Hook

Credulous Lousy Credentials Although the teacher had lousy credentials, the credulous Headmaster hired him anyway because he trusted that Hubert would make a turnaround and because he could pay Hubert a low salary, which was a huge mistake because the teacher was so bad that several parents took their children out of the school.


  • Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones. — Bertrand Russell, Welsh-born British philosopher and Nobel laureate, from _Unpopular Essays_ Bertrand russell, welsh-born british philosopher and nobel laureate, from _unpopular essays_
  • Hard-line defenders of conventional medicine say any practices that can’t be formally tested should be disqualified right off, and that the commission was stacked with alternative medicine advocates too credulous to be trusted to make policy recommendations. —Newsweek

Word Ingredients

cred believe, trust
-ul- denotes repeated activity
-ous possessing the nature of

Someone who is credulous has the “nature of trusting or believing” what others say too much of the time.

Word Theater

A Bit of Fry and Laurie A young Hugh Laurie credulously thinks he's in a doctor's office.

Word Constellation


Word Variants

incredulous adj not believing in the truth or possibility of something
credulity n the tendency to believe something too readily