belief

noun
be·​lief | \ bə-ˈlēf \

Definition of belief

1 : a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing her belief in God a belief in democracy I bought the table in the belief that it was an antique. contrary to popular belief
2 : something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion : something believed an individual's religious or political beliefs especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group the beliefs of the Catholic Church
3 : conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence belief in the validity of scientific statements

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Synonyms & Antonyms for belief

Synonyms

credence, credit, faith

Antonyms

disbelief, discredit, doubt, nonbelief, unbelief

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Choose the Right Synonym for belief

belief, faith, credence, credit mean assent to the truth of something offered for acceptance. belief may or may not imply certitude in the believer. my belief that I had caught all the errors faith almost always implies certitude even where there is no evidence or proof. an unshakable faith in God credence suggests intellectual assent without implying anything about grounds for assent. a theory now given credence by scientists credit may imply assent on grounds other than direct proof. gave full credit to the statement of a reputable witness

synonyms see in addition opinion

belief and faith mean agreement with the truth of something. belief is used when there is some kind of evidence for believing even though the believer is not always sure of the truth. The story strengthened my belief in ghosts. faith is used when the believer is certain even if there is no evidence or proof. Even after the robbery, I kept my faith in the goodness of people.

synonyms see in addition opinion

Examples of belief in a Sentence

There is growing belief that these policies will not succeed. He gets angry if anyone challenges his religious beliefs. We challenged his beliefs about religion.
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Recent Examples on the Web

There's no shortage of strange beliefs out there, and not all of them involve having a firm grip on reality. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Why does flat Earth belief still exist?," 28 Dec. 2018 Contrary to popular belief, holiday decorations don't have to be red and green. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Black Matte Is The New Red And Green," 5 Dec. 2018 Despite these trends, the Trump administration has made moves to limit access to birth control on the basis of companies' religious or moral beliefs. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Birth Control Helped Us Reach Historically Low Abortion Rates, But the Trump Administration Could Change That," 30 Nov. 2018 That’s not to absolve online communities of the beliefs of their members. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The UK’s inquiry into fake news is focused on a long-dead bikini-finding app," 27 Nov. 2018 Contrary to popular belief, not all types of hydrangeas will change bloom color. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "How to Grow Hydrangeas," 1 Aug. 2018 Offer a Reward Contrary to popular belief, offering a reward won't increase the likelihood that somebody will hold your animal for ransom. Karen Asp, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About How to Find a Lost Pet," 30 July 2018 All joking aside, the clash is symbolic of what has become Facebook’s daily challenge: Identifying what is and isn’t news, while also serving billions of users with a range of different political beliefs. Kara Swisher, Recode, "Media — both on the left and right — are pressing Facebook to define what journalism is," 17 July 2018 The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook had begun working on a feature that would encourage users of opposing political beliefs to interact in a more positive way. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Facebook shelved a feature intended to promote civil political discourse," 23 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'belief.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of belief

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for belief

Middle English beleave, probably alteration of Old English gelēafa, from ge-, associative prefix + lēafa; akin to Old English lȳfan — more at believe

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Statistics for belief

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for belief

The first known use of belief was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for belief

belief

noun

English Language Learners Definition of belief

: a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true

: a feeling that something is good, right, or valuable

: a feeling of trust in the worth or ability of someone

belief

noun
be·​lief | \ bə-ˈlēf \

Kids Definition of belief

1 : a feeling of being sure that a person or thing exists or is true or trustworthy belief in ghosts belief in democracy
2 : religious faith
3 : something believed It's my belief that our team really won.

belief

noun
be·​lief

Legal Definition of belief

: a degree of conviction of the truth of something especially based on a consideration or examination of the evidence — compare knowledge, suspicion

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More from Merriam-Webster on belief

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with belief

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for belief

Spanish Central: Translation of belief

Nglish: Translation of belief for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of belief for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about belief

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