A Tale of “Incredible” and “Incredulous”

April 22, 2024
A Tale of

A Tale of “Incredible” and “Incredulous”

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When to Use Incredible versus Incredulous

History: The words “incredible” and “incredulous” have similar beginnings, both originating from Latin roots. “Incredible” comes from the Latin word “incrēdibilis,” meaning ‘not believable,’ while “incredulous” comes from “incrēdulus,” meaning ‘unbelieving.’

How to Use: “Incredible” is used to describe something that is amazing or unbelievable. On the other hand, “incredulous” is used to describe someone who is skeptical or doubtful about something.

Trick to Remember the Difference: The word “incredible” contains the word “credible,” which means ‘believable.’ If something is “incredible,” it is so unbelievable that it’s hard to believe. “Incredulous” contains the word “credulous,” which means ‘believing.’ If someone is “incredulous,” they are not easily believing something.

Examples of Incredible:

  1. It was an incredible performance by the singer.
  2. The view from the mountaintop was incredible.
  3. The magician performed an incredible trick that amazed everyone.
  4. The book tells an incredible story of adventure and friendship.
  5. The team made an incredible comeback in the game.

Examples of Incredulous:

  1. She gave an incredulous look when she heard the outrageous story.
  2. He was incredulous about the truthfulness of the news report.
  3. My friend was incredulous when I told him about my strange encounter.
  4. The jury looked incredulous at the defendant’s unbelievable alibi.
  5. His incredulous expression showed that he didn’t trust the salesman’s claims.

Summary: Remember that “incredible” is used to describe something amazing, while “incredulous” is used to describe someone who is doubtful. Think of “credible” in “incredible” to remember the meaning of the word. In contrast, “incredulous” relates to being skeptical because of its link to “credulous.”