AskDefine | Define credibility

Dictionary Definition

credibility n : the quality of being believable or trustworthy [syn: credibleness, believability] [ant: incredibility]

User Contributed Dictionary



From the French crédibilité


  • /"krEd.@.bI.5I.ti/
  • /ˈkɹɛd.ə.bɪ.ɫɪ.ti/


  1. reputation impacting one's ability to be believed
    After weeks of blowing smoke, her credibility with me was next to nil.
  2. Whether or not a witness is being truthful.
    The primary measure of credibility is whether the testimony is probable or improbable when judged by common experience.

Related terms

Coordinate terms


reputation impacting one's ability to be believed
  • Japanese: 信用性
law: whether or not a witness is being truthful

Extensive Definition

Credibility is the objective and subjective components of the believability of a source or message. Traditionally, credibility is composed of two primary dimensions: trustworthiness and expertise, which have both objective and subjective components. That is, trustworthiness is a receiver judgment based on subjective factors. Expertise can be similarly subjectively perceived but includes relatively objective characteristics of the source or message as well (e.g., source credentials or information quality). Some secondary dimensions include source dynamism (charisma) and physical attractiveness, for example.
Credibility online has become an important topic since the mid-1990s, as the web has increasingly become an information resource. The Credibility and Digital Media Project @ UCSB highlights recent and ongoing work in this area, including recent consideration of digital media, youth, and credibility. In addition, the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University has studied web credibility and proposed the principal components of online credibility and a general theory called Prominence-Interpretation Theory.
According to the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics, professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalists credibility.See Preamble
"Street cred" is a contemporary neologism referring to credibility or acceptability among young or fashionable inner-city residents, particularly those who support the hip-hop industry.

Credibility Research Reviews

  • Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., Eyal, K., Lemus, D. R., & McCann, R. (2003). Credibility in the 21st century: Integrating perspectives on source, message, and media credibility in the contemporary media environment. In P. Kalbfleisch (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 27 (pp. 293-335). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Rieh, S. Y. & Danielson, D. R. (2007). Credibility: A multidisciplinary framework. In B. Cronin (Ed.), Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (Vol. 41, pp. 307-364). Medford, NJ: Information Today.


credibility in Spanish: Credibilidad
credibility in Indonesian: Kredibilitas
credibility in Hebrew: אמינות
credibility in Slovenian: Verodostojnost

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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