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 inbelieve 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



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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 Some property owners may believe prices have peaked and see now as the right time to cash in on their investment. Jordyn Grzelewski, cleveland, "Home sales in Northeast Ohio on track to beat 2018′s levels, no slowdown expected," 1 Dec. 2019 Indigo Ag believes farmers like Dee can sequester enough carbon in their soil to make a real impact in the battle to limit the impacts of climate change. Dennis Pillion |, al, "Alabama farmer looks to cash in on carbon storage," 1 Dec. 2019 The bartender, who is not named, believed the woman had been drugged, the lawsuit said. Ralph Ellis And Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN, "Woman sues Chicago nightclub, alleging security guards stood by as she was sexually assaulted in an alley," 1 Dec. 2019 Terri Martin believes that long-term rehab created a better quality of life for her elderly cockapoo, Biscuit, who passed away two years ago at age 22. Karen Angel, USA TODAY, "Physical therapy for dogs? Some owners turn to rehab to manage chronic pain, avoid costly surgery," 30 Nov. 2019 Did anyone actually, truly believe that Michigan was going to beat Ohio State? Elaine Sung, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's 4th-and-1 play just another disaster in horror show vs. OSU," 30 Nov. 2019 Hancock also believes American horses are entirely over-medicated, and many drugs mask underlying issues, putting perhaps slightly injured horses on the path to a fatal injury. CBS News, "Horse racing reaches critical moment after rash of deaths," 30 Nov. 2019 Tt’s believed that Duchess, Prince Harry and their son have flown out to America for the holiday, planning a quiet celebration at home with her mother, Doria Ragland. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Just Shared the Sweetest Thanksgiving Message," 28 Nov. 2019 Caleb Lynn, Special for IndyStar Justin Pelley believes four things are needed to produce a winning football team. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Western Boone football sticks to four pillars of success on way to state championship," 28 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for believe

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for believe

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Believe.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for believe


How to pronounce believe (audio)

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)


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.
believed; believing

Legal Definition of believe

: to consider to be true or honest

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More from Merriam-Webster on believe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for believe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with believe

Spanish Central: Translation of believe

Nglish: Translation of believe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of believe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on believe

What made you want to look up believe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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