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

This is a question that will vex a logical thinker, for the answer has less to do with reason and more to do with belief. Seth Hettena, The New Republic, "The Obscure Newspaper Fueling the Far-Right in Europe," 17 Sep. 2019 Putting many millions of people from all over the world with different traditions and beliefs in the same place and expecting them to get along is an experiment that’s never been tried anywhere, including in the United States. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Patrios," 16 Sep. 2019 That was until Salomon Rondon equalised in brilliant fashion midway through the second half to give Newcastle belief. SI.com, "12 of the Biggest Giant Killings in Premier League History," 16 Sep. 2019 Zito’s mother, Roberta, grew up in a household dictated by her mother’s unconventional religious beliefs; his grandmother created the Society for the Teaching of the Inner Christ. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Barry Zito’s memoir reveals he rooted against Giants in 2010 World Series," 16 Sep. 2019 This was the kind of game that was supposed to test Addazio’s belief that the Eagles’ offense was explosive enough to get into shootouts and win. BostonGlobe.com, "Miscommunication and missed assignments plagued the secondary. The defensive line perpetually watched Kansas running backs Khalil Herbert and Pooka Williams burst through holes untouched.," 15 Sep. 2019 Congregate with people who share your goals, beliefs and objectives. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: Sept. 15, 2019," 15 Sep. 2019 That means some people’s beliefs are being challenged, Halifax said. Hannah Knowles, Washington Post, "Plantations honestly addressing slavery see visitor pushback," 13 Sep. 2019 First, politically incorrect speech tends to strike listeners as sincere, indicating that the communicator’s beliefs are truly held. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Politically incorrect speech can be good politics," 13 Sep. 2019

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

Comments on belief

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