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 In this, the boogaloo boys shared the anti-corporatist left’s belief that the government had betrayed public trust by maintaining a growing police force to perpetuate an unjust status quo. Dale Beran, The Atlantic, "The Boogaloo Tipping Point," 4 July 2020 Again using a mockumentary approach, the show stars Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a bureaucrat whose belief in local government didn’t just fire up her devotion to the Pawnee, Indiana parks department, but fueled her optimistic drive. oregonlive, "Missing your co-workers? 14 TV workplace comedies to watch while staying home," 2 July 2020 Whatever the explanation, belief in the phenomenon itself may have only gained adherents since. Hilda Bastian, Wired, "What the Data Really Says About Women Leaders and the Pandemic," 1 July 2020 Jessica Grusnick, who has enrolled two daughters in Girls on the Run and plans for her third to participate, echoes Rovito's belief in the program's importance. Margot Armbruster, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pandemic leads Girls on the Run to change strategy for keeping youth active this summer," 1 July 2020 The Satanic Temple's creed does not actually include belief in Satan or the supernatural, according to its website. Ian Richardson, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Posts call for removal of satanic statues in cities where there aren't any," 29 June 2020 This diffusion enables the IRA and its ilk to tap directly into the critical psychological infrastructure at work in individual belief formation. Aziz Huq, Washington Post, "Political lies aren’t new, but the methods of spreading them are," 25 June 2020 Getting information from friends and family wasn't great, but its association with conspiracy belief was weaker than that of social media. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "In the UK, social media use associated with COVID-19 conspiracy theories," 23 June 2020 Such efforts have only emboldened Jones’ belief that King’s influence continues to be felt. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Steph Curry and Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech writer stress message of love," 19 June 2020

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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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

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Belief.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belief. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for belief

belief

noun
How to pronounce belief (audio)

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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