Definition of discredit in English:



[with object]
  • 1Harm the good reputation of.

    ‘his remarks were taken out of context in an effort to discredit him’
    ‘a discredited government’
    • ‘Only last week an effort to discredit him and, if possible, to jail him collapsed.’
    • ‘They started blackening and discrediting them.’
    • ‘Faced with a review that would need to be more than a rubber stamp, the government seems to have mounted a diplomatic and media effort aimed at discrediting its own tribunal.’
    • ‘The defendants engineered an ulterior motive to discredit the claimant's reputation by writing maliciously about him in the practice teacher's report.’
    • ‘The Senator, for example, famously made an ill-fated effort to discredit him.’
    • ‘Why do you think that newspaper and others have invested so much effort in discrediting me personally?’
    • ‘It may be an invention to discredit his posthumous reputation and supporters.’
    • ‘Furthermore, its response in the aftermath of the tragedy has been to gag or discredit the reputation of those who have attempted to speak out.’
    • ‘After more than two weeks, he surrendered and was put on trial in an effort to discredit him and to deter others who might be tempted to leak government secrets.’
    • ‘And it was his office that took the lead in the administration's efforts to discredit Joe and his wife.’
    • ‘She wanted the President to believe in her innocence, and that she loves the country and she would never do anything to harm or discredit the citizens..’
    • ‘She went further to discredit her former colleague by calling her a liar and a thief.’
    • ‘Since making that complaint it seems that there has been, on the information I have, a concerted effort to discredit her in many, many ways.’
    • ‘We must show our country that there is an alternative to this deceitful, dishonest, and discredited government.’
    • ‘Files disappear and former employees are discredited with allegations and lies.’
    • ‘But on the other hand, you can read books about the politics of the effort to discredit him. His cause was obviously unpleasant to the status quo.’
    • ‘Increasingly under pressure from all sides, the military dictatorship is intent on using the trial to completely discredit the former prime minister and his government.’
    • ‘I could take steps to discredit your organization and undermine it so that it could not maintain the project on a large scale.’
    • ‘The government responded with a barrage of attacks aimed at discrediting the former aide.’
    • ‘The company hired detectives to follow him and dig up dirt in an effort to discredit him.’
    disgrace, dishonour, bring into disrepute, damage someone's reputation, blacken someone's name, destroy someone's credibility, drag through the mire, drag through the mud, put in a bad light, show in a bad light, reflect badly on, compromise, give someone a bad name, bring into disfavour
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    1. 1.1 Cause (an idea or account) to seem false or unreliable.
      ‘his explanation for the phenomenon was soon discredited’
      • ‘I have said enough elsewhere to discredit such notions.’
      • ‘Postmodernism discredits the concepts of ‘beauty’ and ‘aesthetics’ because they are subjective terms.’
      • ‘Yet by the early part of the 20th century, the idea had been discredited and seemed to have gone for good.’
      • ‘However, there is now a fairly large and growing body of research to discredit that assumption.’
      • ‘He discredits the idea that the innocent and law-abiding have nothing to worry about, arguing that privacy isn't simply an individual ‘quality of life’ issue.’
      • ‘He uses the opportunity to use scientific and mathematical methods to discredit belief in the supernatural.’
      • ‘The best way to discredit foolish ideas is to let people hear them.’
      • ‘However, he said he was not ready to take the stage any time soon and discredited recent promotions under which his name appeared.’
      • ‘I don't know if he was trying to discredit my idea, or if the stress was simply getting to him.’
      • ‘They fought vigorously, attempting to discredit the mass of unreliable testimony the prosecution had presented.’
      • ‘One can discredit good ideas by associating them with bad ones.’
      • ‘First, these results prove that drug use is prevalent among arrestees and discredits the notion that rural communities are immune to this particular problem.’
      • ‘More recently, another life-and-death issue has emerged to discredit the notion that ‘free trade’ guides these institutions.’
      • ‘Killing whales in the name of scientific research simply discredits the notion of wildlife research.’
      • ‘After all, why not attempt to discredit a person's thoughts when you have nothing to go with?’
      • ‘This research helped to discredit the current ideas about ‘affinities’ between two substances, conceived almost as absolutes.’
      • ‘Avoid the tendency to discredit the ideas of others when they disagree with your ideas or challenge you.’
      • ‘Can we expect to defeat terrorism without also discrediting the ideas and passions that underlie it?’
      • ‘In its most common form, this fallacy attempts to discredit an idea or belief by associating it with an undesirable person or a group.’
      • ‘Old, formerly discredited ideas about race and culture are on the ascent once again.’
      disprove, prove false, prove wrong, invalidate, explode, drive a coach and horses through, give the lie to, refute, reject, deny
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mass noun
  • 1Loss or lack of reputation or respect.

    ‘they committed crimes which brought discredit upon the administration’
    • ‘Within a month he was accused of ‘conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the military service,’ and his trial began in Washington.’
    • ‘And if so, then that clearly is the sort of behavior that does bring discredit upon the House and ought to be basis for some action by the Ethics Committee.’
    • ‘In what way does it differ from the sale of indulgences in the 16th century which brought great discredit to the church?’
    • ‘To have that sort of thing in legislation, frankly, brings this House into discredit.’
    • ‘Be honest and avoid bringing discredit to the public service’
    • ‘To their discredit, they were guilty of squandering some great chance in the second quarter during a period when they were in complete control.’
    • ‘But there are also bogus philosophers who aim only at money and status, and bring her into discredit, and they drive her crazy.’
    • ‘From his own perspective - though crucially not from ours, and we should be sure to make this distinction - such a thing could have brought him only discredit.’
    • ‘I have brought discredit on me as a police officer and brought shame on me and my family,’ he said.’
    • ‘Professional disciplines avoid intruding on the personal values and behaviours of members as long as they do not bring discredit to the profession.’
    • ‘Apparently he had no qualms about heaping fresh discredit upon the heavily criticised parliament, which it was his responsibility to sustain.’
    • ‘The use of such dishonest smear tactics reflects discredit upon the House of Representatives and warrants the investigation of your Committee.’
    • ‘But since then, I would say that he has fallen into discredit.’
    • ‘For this he faces the possibility of two counts of solicitation or encouraging other soldiers to desert, one count of aiding the enemy, and four counts of bringing discredit upon the US Armed Forces.’
    • ‘He brings discredit upon himself by using this publication as a forum for his whining.’
    • ‘We then get legislation like this being served up, which is highly controversial, goes way beyond the original intent of the framers, and brings the whole proposition into discredit.’
    • ‘That is why this may be a good time to remind ourselves of some of the reasons imperialism fell into discredit in the first place.’
    • ‘This government, to its eternal discredit, has reduced income tax to such an extent that the State cannot pay for an education for its young people.’
    • ‘To my discredit, I didn't go and seek out the traffic warden because the clock was against me, but I swear that if it happens again I will do so.’
    • ‘To their discredit, neither has cut superannuation taxes significantly or made the super system simpler.’
    • ‘I'm concerned a department supposed to be helping fight crime has brought discredit on itself.’
    dishonour, disrepute, ill repute, loss of reputation, loss of respect, disgrace, shame, humiliation, ignominy, infamy, notoriety
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    1. 1.1count noun A person or thing that is a source of disgrace.
      ‘the ships were a discredit to the country’
      • ‘The party councillor, also supporting the no confidence motion, said: ‘It is a discredit to the whole chamber.’’
      • ‘He is a defenseman, who never has been anything but a discredit to a game that too often is a discredit to all other games.’
      • ‘That's a good point that is a major discredit to people claiming to be followers of Christ.’
      • ‘The ‘bad egg’ theory had a very short life and is already a discredit to the officials and officers who put it forward.’
      • ‘It is a discredit to the struggle of the people and a severe slap at the peaceful religion movement.’
      • ‘His remarks that nine out of ten people in City Hall don't help anyone are unfounded, unprofessional and have no basis in fact and indeed are a discredit to the position he holds.’
      • ‘Here I think the fault and discredit lies entirely with the academic institution.’
      • ‘It is a credit to him to acknowledge his mistake, but then not knowing in the first place is more of a discredit.’
      • ‘What a discredit to teachers he is.’
      • ‘Why would it be a discredit to her if she is savvy enough to understand when a song is a hit and decide to sing it?’
      • ‘You do a discredit to yourself and to the dignity of your office by engaging in these dishonest smear tactics.’
      • ‘The almighty trade dollar shouldn't hush up public debate on this - to treat the welfare of animals so carelessly is a discredit to us all.’
      • ‘That is a real, I think, discredit on the system.’
      • ‘Another discredit to this ‘empowerment’ argument is that he only wants to sleep with you.’
      • ‘I think it's a discredit to our little community when we are mean to each other - particularly to those who are just starting out - and pretending to have some sort of claim on a rock wall.’
      disgrace, source of disgrace, source of shame, reproach
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Mid 16th century: from dis- (expressing reversal) + credit, on the pattern of Italian ( di)scredito (noun), ( di)screditare (verb), and French discrédit (noun), discréditer (verb).