believe

verb
be·​lieve | \bə-ˈlēv \
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

The suspect, believed to be the girl's mother, allegedly threw Rodriguez to the ground and starting hitting him with her fists, then the brick. CBS News, "Woman charged with attempted murder in beating of man, 92, with brick," 13 July 2018 Many believed Kiki to be former 106 & Park host Keshia Chante, who grew up as a childhood friend of Drake's and was one of his first crushes. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Decoding All of Drake's References on 'In My Feelings'," 13 July 2018 The body of a woman, believed to be in her 20s or 30s, was spotted about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday at the entrance of a parking garage at LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch, 2700 Commercial Center Blvd. Mike Glenn, Houston Chronicle, "Woman's body found outside LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch," 12 July 2018 Early in the 20th century, many scientists believed background radiation levels on Earth diminished at higher altitudes. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blazing a trail: UW professor's dream leads to breakthrough in identifying origin of cosmic rays," 12 July 2018 Almost everyone involved in the case believes that was the right decision, Jones said. Washington Post, "Abuse, neglect and a system that failed: The tragic lives of the Hart children," 12 July 2018 When Trump fired the opening salvo of his trade war with China, many observers believed that Xi would have the upper hand. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "After Trump’s New Tariff Threat, China Seeks Strategy for Retaliation," 11 July 2018 In the 1880s, many among the owning class—and even some labor leaders—believed that the last thing workers needed was more leisure time. Livia Gershon, Longreads, "Clocking Out," 11 July 2018 According to a thorough account by Recode’s Johana Bhuiyan last year, Kalanick believed the HR division was there largely to recruit and fire talent, not manage interoffice grievances or allegations of sexism and harassment. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Uber senior executive resigns after racial discrimination allegations," 11 July 2018

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

6 Nov 2018

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 \
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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Comments on believe

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