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

Estrogen: Some experts believe that higher levels of circulating estrogen may play a role in increasing libido. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "10 Questions You’ve Always Wondered About Your Libido," 15 May 2019 However, it is believed that Schumacher himself will not be seen on camera, and his accident and subsequent state of health reportedly will not be depicted in the film. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, "Trailer for Documentary about Formula 1 Legend Michael Schumacher to Show at Cannes," 13 May 2019 All the target states, except for Nevada, also have Senate races in 2020, a factor that the party believes will provide extra return. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Trump campaign eyes chances to vie for states lost in 2016," 14 Apr. 2019 Specifically, brains with CTE accumulate a protein called tau (which is believed to be dislodged from brain fibers during an injury). Brian Resnick, Vox, "What a lifetime of playing football can do to the human brain," 4 Feb. 2019 Most elite drivers believe that in racing, there are moments to push and moments to throttle down. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Racing With Mindful Abandon," 4 May 2019 This might mean avoiding words like believe, feel, or think, according to Indeed. Josephine Yurcaba, Woman's Day, "How to Ask For a Raise," 18 Apr. 2019 Scientists believe that the creatures originated off the western coast of the African continent, and traveled along westward surface currents to reach South America. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Ancient Pacific Whales Lived On Land Like Rhinos," 4 Apr. 2019 While one-share, one-vote worked for Lyft as a private company, its board believes that as a public company founders should have 20 votes per share. WSJ, "Why Not Have a ‘Sunset’ for Supervoting Shares?," 28 Mar. 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

22 May 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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