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  • Adj.

credulous

KREJ-uh-luhs

Context
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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: When is someone credulous?

  • When that person is completely unsuspecting of what others say.
  • When that person looks for the good in everyone.
  • When that person acts foolishly and without thought.

Memory Hook
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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.

Examples
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  • 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 Bertrand russell
  • Did Shailagh Murray just poke her head out from under the desk long enough to type a less than completely credulous and star-struck sentence about Sen Obama and his campaign? —The Washington Post
  • Unless Marley is just heaping contempt on his ever-credulous white audience — which seems unlikely since his Jamaican fans are expected to buy this stuff, too — such lyrics place him sub-Chocolate Watchband. —Rolling Stone
  • 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
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cred believe, trust
-ul- denotes repeated activity
-ous possessing the nature of

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

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

Word Constellation
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Credulous

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