Words sometimes confused: incredible and incredulous by Angela Caldin
Incredible means that something is difficult to believe whereas incredulous means that someone is unwilling or unable to believe. So something that seems unbelievable or implausible is incredible, but if you have trouble believing something, you are incredulous.
The word incredible is often overused to describe something astounding. It applies to an unbelievable situation, while incredulous applies to an unbelieving person rather than a situation.
- They paused for a few minutes to admire the incredible sunset, fiery red and brilliant orange against the darkening sky.
- Maradona was an amazing footballer with fantastic footwork which led to some incredible goals.
- John Major spoke for many MPs when he said that the government’s move to break international law left him incredulous.
- Many people were incredulous as Trump continued to deny the outcome of the election.