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

A day earlier, police found a bottle believed to be the source of the nerve agent that killed Dawn Sturgess and sickened Charlie Rowley in Amesbury. BostonGlobe.com, "6 dead after attackers target presidential palace," 14 July 2018 Police did not immediately indicate whether the two incidents are believed to be connected. Lori Higgins, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Police investigate two fatal shootings on city's east side," 14 July 2018 Later, it was believed the girl, then 2, was actually in a nearby room, a small mercy, of sorts. Helen Ubiñas, Philly.com, "Families of homicide victims, bonded by love | Helen Ubiñas," 13 July 2018 Investigators found a note that was believed to be written by Davis in the inmate's cell, Sadler said. Andrew Demillo, Fox News, "Police respond to attempted suicide by death row inmate," 13 July 2018 It is believed that the Italian club have already made two offers for the 22-year-old. SI.com, "Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus Transfer Could Ruin Arsenal & Chelsea's Plans to Sign WC Breakout Star," 13 July 2018 The shooting is believed to involve children, although the extent of their involvement is not immediately clear. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Shooting involving children leaves one man dead in northeast Harris County," 13 July 2018 Longhorned ticks are believed to have been introduced into the country via New Jersey and have recently been found in Arkansas, Virginia and West Virginia, state officials said in a statement. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "New ‘exotic’ tick invades NC, and it’s an ‘aggressive biter.’ How far has it spread?," 12 July 2018 But the Roman logic was more sound than a random fear: allegedly, witches in those times gathered in groups of 12, and a 13th member was believed to be the devil. Lily Puckett, Teen Vogue, "8 Origins, Myths, and Superstitions That Explain Friday the 13th," 12 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

9 Oct 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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