confidence

1 of 2

noun

con·​fi·​dence ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s How to pronounce confidence (audio)
-ˌden(t)s
1
a
: a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances
had perfect confidence in her ability to succeed
met the risk with brash confidence
b
: faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way
have confidence in a leader
2
: the quality or state of being certain : certitude
they had every confidence of success
3
a
: a relation of trust or intimacy
took his friend into his confidence
b
: reliance on another's discretion
Their story was told in strictest confidence.
c
: support especially in a legislative body
vote of confidence
4
: a communication made in confidence : secret
accused him of betraying a confidence

confidence

2 of 2

adjective

: of, relating to, or adept at swindling by false promises
a confidence game
a confidence man
Choose the Right Synonym for confidence

confidence, assurance, self-possession, aplomb mean a state of mind or a manner marked by easy coolness and freedom from uncertainty, diffidence, or embarrassment.

confidence stresses faith in oneself and one's powers without any suggestion of conceit or arrogance.

the confidence that comes from long experience

assurance carries a stronger implication of certainty and may suggest arrogance or lack of objectivity in assessing one's own powers.

handled the cross-examination with complete assurance

self-possession implies an ease or coolness under stress that reflects perfect self-control and command of one's powers.

answered the insolent question with complete self-possession

aplomb implies a manifest self-possession in trying or challenging situations.

handled the reporters with great aplomb

Example Sentences

Noun The class gave me more confidence. He lacked the confidence to succeed. The experience gave her the confidence to start her own business. Good grades boosted her confidence. It takes time to build confidence when you are learning a new skill. They have an air of confidence about them. She has done little to gain their confidence. School officials express confidence that the problem will soon be resolved. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
As a prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York, Smith was known for his confidence and his willingness to plunge into difficult and politically sensitive cases, former colleagues said. Glenn Thrush, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Nov. 2022 Perhaps in another context, the interplay between Binance and FTX that played out publicly on Twitter wouldn’t itself have sparked a loss of confidence in FTX. Telis Demos, WSJ, 17 Nov. 2022 Maybe that dress boosted her confidence, and empowered her to start getting, if not loud, then mouthy, in an elegant, princess-y way, of course. Dina Gachman, Glamour, 17 Nov. 2022 Add to that list of naysayers, Rupert Murdoch, the iconic Fox News owner, two of his flagship print properties - the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post - both published recent pieces that shouted out a lack of confidence in his candidacy. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 16 Nov. 2022 This year’s unusually large number of recounts speaks to a lack of confidence in some aspects of elections, Scanlan said, along with the sheer closeness of the contests. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2022 Regardless, Lake asserted her confidence that the results would turn in her favor. Meg Kinnard, The Arizona Republic, 16 Nov. 2022 Don’t let unfounded fears undermine your confidence near the 18th and 19th. Katharine Merlin, Town & Country, 16 Nov. 2022 The Trojans should get Mario Williams back this week, joining Jordan Addison, and their absences have built a ton of confidence in the Trojans’ depth at that position. Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confidence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English confydence, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French confidence, borrowed from Latin confīdentia, from confīdent-, confīdens "trusting in oneself, confident" + -ia -ia entry 1

Adjective

from attributive use of confidence entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1849, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of confidence was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near confidence

Cite this Entry

“Confidence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confidence. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

confidence 1 of 2

noun

con·​fi·​dence ˈkän-fəd-ən(t)s How to pronounce confidence (audio)
-fə-ˌden(t)s
1
: a feeling of trust or belief
had confidence in our coach
2
: a feeling of certainty : assurance
spoke with great confidence
3
a
: reliance on another's secrecy or loyalty
told us in confidence
b
: legislative support
vote of confidence
4
: something told in confidence : secret

confidence

2 of 2

adjective

: of, relating to, or skilled at swindling by false promises
a confidence game
a confidence man

More from Merriam-Webster on confidence

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