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

Chick-fil-A, which made those sales despite being closed on Sundays because of the owners’ Christian beliefs, also has ranked first in the American Customer Satisfaction Index for four years in a row. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, "McDonald’s franchisees plead for a better chicken sandwich to fend off Chick-fil-A threat," 10 July 2019 Today, young people still seek the things that traditional organized religion may have provided for their parents or grandparents: religious beliefs, yes, but also a sense of community, guidance, purpose and meaning. Jessica Roy, latimes.com, "How millennials replaced religion with astrology and crystals," 10 July 2019 Willie Sterling III imagined this: a line of people, bonded by a belief in his humanity, travelling up a hill in southern Illinois to a cross that sits at its peak. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "Photo Requests from Solitary Confinement," 8 July 2019 The belief — the hope — is Baker can lift this program to new heights that evaded his towering predecessors. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "As Jaxson Hayes heads to NBA, Will Baker steps in for Texas," 7 July 2019 They were also asked about their happiness, political beliefs, voting history, and personal traits. Johanna Blakley, Quartzy, "Four TV shows that both liberals and conservatives love—and one they both hate," 5 July 2019 Antivaccination groups in New York have been promoting home schooling as a way to circumvent a new state law that eliminates religious-belief exemptions for school vaccination requirements. Alexa St. John And Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "Antivaccination Groups in New York Push Home Schooling," 4 July 2019 America’s strength is all of its goals, achievements, beliefs, weaknesses and imperfections. courant.com, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 28 June 2019 In a similar vein, two of the three of these clubs are genuine contenders for the Champions League; Paris Saint-Germain have seemingly lacked the European pedigree and self-belief to make inroads in the tournament. SI.com, "Matthijs de Ligt: Joining Juventus Is the Right Move for the Defender," 27 June 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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