- The definitions of credit and accredit clearly overlap at acknowledging the role of another. The semantic overlap:
verb (credits, crediting, credited)
1.0 Publicly acknowledge a contributor’s role
in the production of (something published or broadcast):
screenplay is credited to one American and two Japanese writers
1.1 (credit someone with) Ascribe (an achievement or good quality) to someone:
he is credited with painting one hundred and twenty-five
verb (accredits, accrediting, accredited)
1.0 Give credit to (someone) for something:
he was accredited with being one of the world’s fastest sprinters
1.1 (accredit something to) Attribute an action, saying, or quality to:
the discovery of distillation is usually accredited to the Arabs
ODO Emphasis mine
The semantic similarities are reinforced by the syntactical similarities:
The work is credited to the person, and the work is accredited to the person
The person is credited with the work, and the person is accredited with the work.
- The words credit and accredit have each expanded separately into different uses. Credit dominates financial contexts, while accredit dominates authorization contexts:
2.0 Add (an amount of money) to
an account: this deferred tax can be credited to the profit and loss
3.0 [OFTEN WITH MODAL] British Believe
(something surprising or unlikely): you would hardly credit it—but it
2.0 (Of an official body) give authority or
sanction to (someone or something) when recognized standards have been
institutions that do not meet the standards will not be
accredited for teacher training
(as adjective accredited) an
3.0 Give official
authorization for (someone, typically a diplomat or journalist) to be
in a particular place or to hold a particular post:
accredited to the UN has ever been expelled
- By loose association with its numerous noun form uses, credit tends to be a more general term than accredit. Credit entered English from French in the early 16th century as a noun and then extended into use as a verb:
1520s, from Middle French crédit (15c.) "belief, trust,"
from Latin creditum "a loan, thing entrusted to another,"
from past participle of credere "to trust, entrust, believe" (see
The commercial sense was the original one in English (creditor
Meaning "honor, acknowledgment of merit," is from c.
Academic sense of "point for completing a course of study" is 1904.
Movie/broadcasting sense is 1914.
Credit rating is from 1958;
credit union is 1881, American English.
v. 1540s, from credit (n.). Related: Credited; crediting.
Accredit entered English directly as a verb about 70 years after credit began extending to its verbal use:
1610s, from French accréditer, from à "to" (see ad-) + créditer "to
credit" (someone with a sum), from crédit "credit" (see credit (n.)).