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 That alias is associated with a Facebook page believed belonging to Latunski and with images connected to a gay escort profile. Darcie Moran, USA TODAY, "He's a father of 4 and worked as a chemist. Now he's accused of cannibalizing Grindr date," 14 Jan. 2020 The film had to fight against all the odds to exist in that pretty much no one believed in that concept, that story. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, "Oscar nominees: It’s David and Goliath in animation, but the little guy is well-armed," 13 Jan. 2020 But Compassion & Choices has been looking to the courts to hasten the adoption of a practice its members believe will improve the experiences of terminally ill patients and their families. Danny Mcdonald,, "Group plans to appeal Mass. judge’s decision that rejected a right to medically-assisted death," 13 Jan. 2020 That alias is associated with a Facebook page believed belonging to Latunski and with images connected to a gay escort profile. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "He's a father of 4 and worked as a chemist. Now he's accused of murder and cannibalism," 13 Jan. 2020 Along with items believed to have been taken in several area burglaries. Houston Chronicle, "Memorial Villages Police Department weekly report," 13 Jan. 2020 The Church of the Nativity, which Christians believe to be the birthplace of Jesus, is located in Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank. NBC News, "Geopolitical 'Jeopardy!': Game show faces criticism after wading into Mideast conflict," 12 Jan. 2020 The church, built over the grotto where Christians believe Jesus was born, is in Bethlehem, a city in the Palestinian territories. Nadeem Muaddi, CNN, "'Jeopardy!' is criticized for stating the Church of the Nativity is in Israel," 12 Jan. 2020 The Hour of Code, organized by the nonprofit and over 100 others, is a global movement that believes the students of today are ready to learn critical skills for 21st-century success. Stephen Wilder,, "Indian Hill Primary School and Accenture team up to bring Braves Hour of Code," 11 Jan. 2020

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

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Believe.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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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).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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