give credit

Idioms & Phrases

give credit

  1. Also, . Trust someone to pay at some future time what he or she owes. For example, I haven't enough cash this month, so I hope they'll give me credit. This use of credit dates from the mid-1500s.

  2. Acknowledge an accomplishment, as in They really should give her credit for the work she's done. [Late 1700s] The phrase is sometimes amplified to give credit where credit is due, meaning the acknowledgment should be to the person who deserves it. This expression was probably coined by Samuel Adams in a letter (October 29, 1777), which put it: "Give credit to whom credit due." It is sometimes put give someone their due, as in We should really give Nancy her due for trying to sort out this mess.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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