believe

verb
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 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

Hard to believe just a week ago USC fans feared the season might be sunk after JT Daniels, the team’s starting quarterback, suffered a season-ending injury in the Trojans’ 31-23 victory over Fresno State. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Freshman QB Kedon Slovis makes it easy to get caught up in fun of USC's offense," 8 Sep. 2019 Of course, Rihanna always looks amazing, which perhaps has led other people to believe they too can pull off such a look. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "One-Legged Pants Are The New Trend We Didn't Know We Needed," 7 Sep. 2019 Oh, and look one more place when searching for reasons to believe Lamet can be the real thing. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Dinelson Lamet continues to build toward Padres’ 2020 vision for him," 7 Sep. 2019 Some experts believe that India needs to improve its space technology. Sanjay Kumar, Science | AAAS, "'Failure is part of the game': Indian spacecraft presumed lost after moon landing attempt," 7 Sep. 2019 Visiting investors—whom Ramaphosa is desperately wooing in an attempt to revive the sluggish economy—will struggle to believe his pitch that his country has put the volatile years of his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, behind it. Ian Bremmer, Time, "What the Xenophobic Violence Gripping South Africa Means for Future of Country," 6 Sep. 2019 While the cause of granuloma annulare is still unknown, researchers believe it may be triggered by an immune or inflammatory response, per the GARD. Amber Brenza, Health.com, "Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi Reveals Rare Skin Condition in Nude Photo Shoot," 6 Sep. 2019 But fear not, eager crafters: There are still plenty of furniture items whose makeovers are almost too easy to believe. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "The Absolute Easiest Way to Reupholster Furniture," 4 Sep. 2019 Nobody believes in giving up everything today in the name of future safety. The Economist, "Martin Weitzman died on August 27th," 4 Sep. 2019

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

11 Sep 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 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.

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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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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