be·​lieve | \ bə-ˈlēv How to pronounce believe (audio) \
believed; believing

Definition of believe

transitive verb

1a : to consider to be true or honest believe the reports you wouldn't believe how long it took
b : to accept the word or evidence of I believe you couldn't believe my ears
2 : to hold as an opinion : suppose I believe it will rain soon

intransitive verb

1a : to accept something as true, genuine, or real ideals we believe in believes in ghosts
b : to have a firm or wholehearted religious conviction or persuasion : to regard the existence of God as a fact Do you believe? usually used with in believe in the Scriptures
2 : to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something believe in exercise
3 : to hold an opinion : think I believe so
not believe
: to be astounded at I couldn't believe my luck

Other Words from believe

believer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for believe



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Examples of believe in a Sentence

I have watched the many ways that teachers demonstrate pleasure in what students have said or done. I used to believe that teachers needed to present a stoic face for fear of losing control—as if smiling caused bad behavior. — Nancy Mack, English Journal, September 2008 Scientists kept a close eye on Mount Saint Helens. The volcano in Washington State spewed steam and ash throughout the month, leading experts to believe that it could erupt at any time. Time For Kids, 17 Dec. 2004 They parted as casually as any friends who believe they will meet in a few days. But each knew the other was in deadly peril of his life. — Esther Forbes, Johnny Tremain, 1943 The scientists believed the reports. Many people seem to believe that theory, but I find it hard to believe. You shouldn't believe everything you read. He says he'll help us, but I don't believe what he says. They were tricked into believing that he was a doctor. He says he'll help us, but I don't believe him. She went to church because her family expected it, but she didn't really believe. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Nearly 90% of investors believe the Fed will hike rates by that same amount next month, following similar expectations from Goldman, Jefferies and Barclays. David Goldman, CNN, 14 June 2022 Police believe that the assailant may have placed a tire in the road to lure Bridegan from his car at about 7:30 p.m., then shot him. Fox News, 14 June 2022 About 73% of London workers believe there will never be a return to the previous way of working where most people come to the office five or more days a week. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 14 June 2022 Monarch officials believe there’s been enough new experimentation since, including the ongoing trials at Wente and Crocker & Starr, to prove the tractor is safe. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 June 2022 Households believe inflation one year from now will be 6.6% higher, up from the 6.3% projection seen in the April data and the highest level seen in a survey that goes back to 2013. Michael S. Derby, WSJ, 13 June 2022 Other family members believe the boat may have left from La Romana in the southeast. CBS News, 13 June 2022 According to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, rival executives believe Houston will explore trades for Wood, who turns 27 in September, in search of someone who would potentially be a better fit with Banchero and Jalen Green. cleveland, 13 June 2022 The Dodgers believe Buehler can return before the end of the season. Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'believe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of believe

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1b

History and Etymology for believe

Middle English beleven, from Old English belēfan, from be- + lȳfan, lēfan to allow, believe; akin to Old High German gilouben to believe, Old English lēof dear — more at love

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Time Traveler for believe

Time Traveler

The first known use of believe was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near believe



believe in

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Statistics for believe

Last Updated

17 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Believe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for believe


be·​lieve | \ bə-ˈlēv How to pronounce believe (audio) \
believed; believing

Kids Definition of believe

1 : to have faith or confidence in the existence or worth of I don't believe in ghosts. He believes in daily exercise.
2 : to accept as true Don't believe everything you read.
3 : to accept the word of They didn't believe me.
4 : to hold an opinion : think I believe I'll have more time later.


transitive verb
believed; believing

Legal Definition of believe

: to consider to be true or honest

More from Merriam-Webster on believe

Nglish: Translation of believe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of believe for Arabic Speakers


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