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

What Morgan initially believed would be a few months of recovery became a nine-year ordeal: of doctors who dismissed her, of surrendering a dream, of personal turmoil and a life repeatedly upended. Emily Dixon, CNN, "Doctors couldn't explain why an acclaimed ballet dancer was ill. Finally, she's resurrecting her career," 13 July 2019 And Denver’s coaches don't believe the responsibilities end there. Jake Fischer, SI.com, "Michael Porter Jr. Wants to Be the NBA's Next Big Gap-Year Success," 13 July 2019 But Michigan's taxpayers won’t pay to replace furniture, mattresses, clothing and carpeting, which the Rendes believe have absorbed airborne toxins. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Troy homeowners’ horror: 'Dad, something really stinks in the basement'," 12 July 2019 Ford is fighting to keep confidential internal documents that plaintiffs’ lawyers believe could include Mulally. Freep.com, "FREE PRESS INVESTIGATION: OUT OF GEAR Ford knew Focus, Fiesta models had flawed transmission, sold them anyway," 11 July 2019 This year, Pyongyang has conducted three smaller-scale weapons tests—including a May launch of evasive short-range missiles that military experts believe can reach U.S. military bases in South Korea. Timothy W. Martin And Dasl Yoon, WSJ, "North Korea Threatens the South Over Its Purchase of U.S. Stealth Fighters," 11 July 2019 But since then, trade talks aimed at reaching a deal between China and the United States, which many believed was imminent as recently as the end of April, have broken down, and the economic data has weakened. Stephen Grocer, New York Times, "Why Stocks Are Hitting Records as Economic Fears Rise: ‘There Is No Alternative’," 11 July 2019 The recurring event, which scientists believe is caused by climate change and fertilizer runoff in the Amazon, has been documented since 2011. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Seaweed Could Be Worse Than Ever This Year Thanks Growing 5,500-Mile Patch of Sargassum," 10 July 2019 Some experts believe private labels are the only way for retailers like Grofers to succeed in the future as many of their earlier innovations that helped them gain competitive advantage—such as same-day delivery—have now become pretty commonplace. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Grofers hopes to win India’s online grocery war with its low-priced, in-house brands," 10 July 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

17 Jul 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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to form ideas or theories about something

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