belief

noun
be·​lief | \ bə-ˈlēf How to pronounce belief (audio) \

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

Antonyms

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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

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 The complex new web of laws and regulations around sharing digital records is being driven by the huge growth in data held by China’s tech giants—and a belief that the government should be able to access it. Lingling Wei, WSJ, 12 June 2021 True, these correlations can be true in part, not least because, as Keynes noted, the value of assets is determined by the traders’ belief in the value of assets. Michael Lynch, Forbes, 11 June 2021 Because of Smith’s concerns, Councilman Justin Gould opposed each of the 10 recommendations, stating a belief that even one objection should be fully heard before a vote was taken. cleveland, 8 June 2021 The second explanation, that sincere belief in essential Republican reasonableness, may seem the least believable, given all the weight of evidence against the idea of secretly reasonable Republicans. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, 8 June 2021 Those debates mirror those of the larger culture, where a belief in the centrality of free speech to American democracy contends with ever more forceful progressive arguments that hate speech is a form of psychological and even physical violence. New York Times, 6 June 2021 All those steps reflect Biden’s belief in the central role that unions play in ensuring a prosperous middle class, said Bernstein, the economic counselor. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2021 The collective caution exercised by the Navajo reflects both a traditional belief in the importance of community and the knowledge that Native Americans have to look after themselves. USA Today, 29 May 2021 In the end, Chad and Lori's belief in evil may prove to be true. Jonathan Vigliotti, CBS News, 29 May 2021

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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Learn More About belief

Time Traveler for belief

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for belief

Last Updated

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Belief.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belief. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce belief (audio) \

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.

Choose the Right Synonym for belief

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

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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