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

Minneapolis 2040 believes the solution is simply more: more construction, more high-rises, and more triplexes. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Here’s what a plan to tackle climate change, density, and affordability looks like," 27 Nov. 2018 Dantas believes that his transgenic E. coli might just do the job, though not the strain that his lab engineered, which grows on penicillin very slowly and prefers eating sugars. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Bacteria That Eat Drugs Could Help Solve the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis," 8 Nov. 2018 Doctors believe that the bacteria in your gut tends to ferment these carbohydrate sugars, creating gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane in the GI tract, Dr. Eugenio says. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "Why Am I Always Bloated?," 29 Oct. 2018 Jenna Bush Hager, former first daughter and current Today show host, believes the White House is haunted. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "Jenna Bush Hager Shares a Scary Story About the White House Being ‘Haunted’," 18 Oct. 2018 Bradford believes that misinformation can be battled with education. Vanessa Willhoughby, Allure, "The Reality of Navigating the Mental Health System as a Black Woman," 13 Oct. 2018 Uber Rewards will have costs associated with it, but Uber believes the impact will be net-positive. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Uber rolls out its own airlines-style rewards program," 14 Nov. 2018 Traditionally about 30,000 cases of Lyme disease were reported to the government each year, but experts believed there was underreporting and thought the actual number was more like 300,000. Mike Stobbe, The Seattle Times, "U.S. officials report a record number of tick diseases," 14 Nov. 2018 Women’s Strength Coalition believes that access to fitness infrastructure, health education, and mental health care are limited for those that would benefit from them the most. SELF, "8 Influencers Making the Wellness World More Inclusive," 7 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

4 Dec 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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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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