noun con·fi·dence \ ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s , -ˌden(t)s \
|Updated on: 19 Jul 2018

Definition of confidence

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

Examples of confidence in a Sentence

  1. The class gave me more confidence.

  2. He lacked the confidence to succeed.

  3. The experience gave her the confidence to start her own business.

  4. Good grades boosted her confidence.

  5. It takes time to build confidence when you are learning a new skill.

  6. They have an air of confidence about them.

  7. She has done little to gain their confidence.

  8. School officials express confidence that the problem will soon be resolved.

Recent Examples of confidence from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of confidence

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

Synonym Discussion of 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




Definition of confidence

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

Origin and Etymology of confidence

from attributive use of 1confidence

CONFIDENCE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of confidence for English Language Learners

  • : a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something

  • : a feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something

  • : the feeling of being certain that something will happen or that something is true

CONFIDENCE Defined for Kids


noun con·fi·dence \ ˈkän-fə-dəns \

Definition of confidence for Students

1 : a feeling of trust or belief
  • Do you have confidence in your partner?
3 : reliance on another's secrecy or loyalty
  • Remember, I told you that in confidence.
4 : 2secret
  • Don't betray a confidence.

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one who attends or assists a leader

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