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

Antonyms

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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 Several days of unusual seismic activity lead seismologists to believe that an explosion resulting from steam buildup is likely to occur. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, "Mount St. Helens Fast Facts," 9 May 2021 State prosecutors say the McMichaels and Bryan had no reason to believe that because Arbery was never seen taking anything from inside a home. Bill Rankin, ajc, "Judge to decide if Ahmaud Arbery’s imperfect past is relevant," 9 May 2021 Looking ahead to the next week or two, while there will be brief warm ups, but there is little reason to believe this cool stubborn pattern will break. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "Rare Mother's Day snow possible from Illinois through Pennsylvania," 9 May 2021 Only those unwilling to look at facts could continue to believe the big lie. Arkansas Online, "Letters," 8 May 2021 Rescuers heard reports by local Inuit people of starving men who had resorted to cannibalism, but as Kat Eschner wrote for Smithsonian magazine in 2018, scandalized Victorians back home in England refused to believe these accounts. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Descendant’s DNA Helps Identify Remains of Doomed Franklin Expedition Engineer," 7 May 2021 Which would lead a viewer to believe that the man’s identity will in some way be significant. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, "The Abysmal Wrath of Man Proves Guy Ritchie Is His Own Worst Enemy," 7 May 2021 Bystanders, unable to comprehend it, unable to believe it, gasped. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: News of the Hindenburg disaster in 1937," 7 May 2021 And yet Trump has successfully proved throughout the past few months that the repetition of these lies over and over again—even without accompanying evidence—is more than enough to get millions of Americans to believe him. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Forced to Choose Between Trump’s “Big Lie” and Liz Cheney, the House G.O.P. Chooses the Lie," 6 May 2021

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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Believe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/believe. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on believe

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