believe

verb
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

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Other Words from believe

believer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for believe

Synonyms

accept, buy, credit, swallow, take, trust

Antonyms

disbelieve, discredit, reject

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Scientists believe these particles can travel six feet through the air—or more. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Quick Question: Why Do We Sneeze?," 8 Mar. 2019 Many also believe that St. Valentine's Day was designated by Pope Gelasius I in order to replace the ancient Roman festival Lupercalia. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "The Not-So-Romantic History of Valentine's Day," 8 Feb. 2019 In this practice, it's believed that complications in this flow of energy are what cause illness or pain. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "What Exactly Is Facial Acupuncture — And Why You Should Try It," 6 Feb. 2019 When Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, it was widely believed that her father would never rule the country, as his older brother, Edward, was set to inherit the title of King. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Inside Queen Elizabeth II's Remarkably Close Relationship With Her Father, King George VI," 5 Feb. 2019 Architect Warren Planter believed that an architects job was not to focus on personal expression, like a painter or sculptor, but rather served to express the needs of others. Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, "The Platner Arm Chair Will Add Instant Mid-Century Sophistication to Your Home," 1 Feb. 2019 Jameela Jamil believes in a no-filter kind of world. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, ""We’re So Hungry!” Jameela Jamil Gets Real About the Effects of Photoshop," 31 Jan. 2019 Some believe Jen's entrenchment in the gaming world points to a case of untreated depression. Glamour, "Broken Harts, Episode 7: 'Stone-Cold Narcissist'," 22 Jan. 2019 Experts believe that the recent changes above the North Pole will cause temperatures to drop drastically in the northeastern U.S, western Europe, and northern Asia over the next month. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "A Polar Vortex Split Is Bringing Snow and Brutal Winter Weather to Much of the U.S.," 16 Jan. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for believe

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for believe

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

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More Definitions for believe

believe

verb

English Language Learners Definition of believe

: to accept or regard (something) as true
: to accept the truth of what is said by (someone)
: to have (a specified opinion)

believe

verb
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.

believe

transitive verb
be·​lieve
believed; believing

Legal Definition of believe

: to consider to be true or honest

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More from Merriam-Webster on believe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with believe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for believe

Spanish Central: Translation of believe

Nglish: Translation of believe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of believe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on believe

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not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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