believe

verb

be·​lieve bə-ˈlēv How to pronounce believe (audio)
believed; believing

transitive verb

1
a
: 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

1
a
: 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
believer noun
Phrases
not believe
: to be astounded at
I couldn't believe my luck

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.
Recent Examples on the Web More:Daughter resists driving mom to church More:Job shopper asks for frequent references While Timothy might believe that this is a generous statement, it is expressed with the same personal connection a person might have toward scheduling their next dental appointment. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 4 Apr. 2024 Diggs’s brother, Dallas Cowboys all-pro cornerback Trevon Diggs also had tweets that some believed were critical of the Bills organization. Lawrence Dow, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 3 Apr. 2024 Our board believes that the combined company will be well-positioned to develop powerful new therapies with the potential to overcome resistance to current immunotherapies, an area of significant unmet need. Kansas City Star, 3 Apr. 2024 The brand believes that luxurious products should come at an accessible price, as evidenced by the Lift & Luminate Triple Action Day Cream and Future Renew Damage Reversal Facial Serum. Annie Blackman, Allure, 3 Apr. 2024 The start-up believes that combining a premium onboard experience, new aircraft, and a network of routes connecting North America with the Pacific could be key to its ascent. Rachel Dube, Robb Report, 3 Apr. 2024 Detectives believe the slain victim and the assailant were having an argument that escalated quickly, Aaron said. Rebekah Riess, CNN, 3 Apr. 2024 Matt Sharp, senior counsel with the ADF, told the Statesman that his organization believes banks and credit card companies have prevented a free market for consumers who lose an account for ideological or religious reasons. Ian Max Stevenson, Idaho Statesman, 3 Apr. 2024 Carstens believes even the Biden administration’s negotiation process to secure the release last year of six Americans wrongfully detained in Venezuela can be directly traced to her advocacy. Max Ufberg, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'believe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of believe was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near believe

Cite this Entry

“Believe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/believe. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

believe

verb
be·​lieve bə-ˈlēv How to pronounce believe (audio)
believed; believing
1
: to have a firm religious faith
2
: to have faith or confidence in the existence or worth of
believe in ghosts
believe in regular exercise
3
: to accept as true
believe the reports
4
: to accept the word or evidence of
they believed us
I could hardly believe my ears
5
: to hold as an opinion : think
believe it will rain
believable
-ˈlē-və-bəl
adjective
believably
-blē
adverb
believer noun

Legal Definition

believe

transitive verb
be·​lieve
believed; believing
: to consider to be true or honest

More from Merriam-Webster on believe

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