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

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

Put simply: Contrary to popular belief, makeup primers don't have to be labeled as such to do what they're supposed to: prep your skin for makeup. Allure, "13 Makeup Primers and Alternatives for People Who Hate Primer," 20 Mar. 2019 But when 49 humans die at the hands of a racist individual indignant against a belief system — an entire group of global peoples — the world community must understand where violence compelled by ignorance comes from. Ahmad Ibsais, Teen Vogue, "New Zealand's Mass Shooting is an Expression of the Violence Muslims Face Around the World," 15 Mar. 2019 Contrary to popular belief, the Easter Bunny doesn't need rolling hills or room to roam. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "We Found the Best Easter Egg Hunts Near New York City," 11 Mar. 2019 Contrary to popular belief, airlines carry thousands more people on some days in June, July and August than around the end-of-year holidays. Fortune, "Looking to Avoid Airport Crowds? You'll Have to Wait Till Thanksgiving — Or Christmas," 5 July 2018 An officer must have a reasonable belief the device contains evidence of criminal offending. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Don’t want New Zealand officials to get into your phone? Pay up to NZ$5,000," 3 Oct. 2018 Probable cause requires enough evidence to convince the grand jury to have a reasonable belief that a crime was committed and that the target of the grand jury—here Conley—was responsible. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Could Gareon Conley Legally Prove That Rape Allegation Caused Draft Slide, Financial Harm?," 12 July 2018 Jackie Kennedy’s own extensive efforts to restore and redesign the White House were guided by a belief that presidential spaces were not meant to be fixed, but needed to evolve to reflect changing needs. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump is right to reject Air Force One nostalgia.," 12 July 2018 American voters have long evinced a tacit belief that deporting law-abiding, longtime U.S. residents is a cruel and needless enterprise. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Abolishing ICE Is About As Popular As Trump’s Immigration Agenda," 11 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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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.

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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