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

Intellectuals on the left have long argued that the melting pot is a myth, as are beliefs about the settlement of the frontier. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Beyond MAGA Hats," 23 Jan. 2019 But what has remained the same for every person who is lucky enough to be on television is the belief that we've been given an opportunity to do something special. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Read Carol Burnett's Incredibly Nostalgic Golden Globes Speech," 7 Jan. 2019 But if SoftBank were to sink as much as $20 billion more into the company at a valuation of around $40 billion, then there has to be a belief that public market investors could envision WeWork as worth a multiple of that. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "SoftBank has a lot to worry about if it strikes this deal with WeWork," 10 Oct. 2018 Several of the Mesa neighbors are stalwart in their belief that at least some of their issues must reach back to living next to the asphalt plant. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Controversy in the air as Mesa homeowners decry neighboring asphalt plant’s odors," 11 July 2018 Contrary to popular belief, nutritious foods don't have to be pricey. Joy Bauer, Ms, Woman's Day, "Nutrition Expert Joy Bauer's Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget," 23 Jan. 2019 The lie is her tragic belief that her public self-abasement will win her any real affection from anyone. Katherine Cross, The Verge, "The Oscar Wilde of YouTube fights the alt-right with decadence and seduction," 24 Aug. 2018 Contrary to popular belief, airlines carry thousands more people on some days in June, July, and August than around the end-of-year holidays. BostonGlobe.com, "Wynn Resorts losing high-profile general counsel," 5 July 2018 And a new study suggests that this shouldn’t be surprising — because, contrary to popular belief, immigration was a losing issue for Trump in 2016. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "New Study: Trump’s Immigration Agenda May Have Hurt Him in 2016," 3 July 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

11 Feb 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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