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

But lending today is incredibly strict, so strict in fact that some in the industry believe the lessons of 2008 were over-learned. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Housing market signaled potential future downturn in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 According to the 2016 World Happiness Report, Denmark clocks in as the world’s happiest country and Wiking believes that the positive stat can be attributed to hygge. Anne Roderique-jones, SELF, "I Practiced Hygge and It's Kind of the Best Thing Ever," 25 Dec. 2018 Carve Out Space for Each Child Just like their storage systems, the designer believes each youngster should have a special spot for only their knickknacks and toys. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "This Is Joanna Gaines's Secret to Getting Her Kids to Share Bedrooms," 25 Dec. 2018 On the other hand, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel believes the glasses fit into the company’s long-term plan. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Snap has a new Spectacles boss, its third in the past six months," 18 Dec. 2018 Because of this, Romem believes this phenomenon has put upward pressure on labor costs in the San Francisco market and created a vicious cycle. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Rising labor costs send the price of house construction skyward," 17 Dec. 2018 Branson still believes that Virgin Galactic will reach space with people before Blue Origin does. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Firefly to the Moon, SpaceX makes a splash, H3 nets a customer," 7 Dec. 2018 Muller believes an Indian curse has caused his family to contract measles. Outlander Fan, Marie Claire, "5 Biggest Takeaways From 'Outlander' Season 4 Episode 5," 3 Dec. 2018 Houska believes that the U.S. is actively seeking to criminalize people for getting off the grid and moving to renewable energy. Sarah Hurtes, Harper's BAZAAR, "Women Who Risk Everything to Defend the Environment," 30 Nov. 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

16 Jan 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 \
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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