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
Instead of fearing how others will view your desires, speak them out with confidence. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 Dec. 2022 All one can say with confidence is the Hurts thought enough of FDR to have his face on the wall for 16 years. David Brown, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Dec. 2022 But the Saudis had arrived brimming with confidence and, backed by the raucous crowd, quickly went in search of an equalizer. John Branch Tasneem Alsultan, New York Times, 26 Nov. 2022 Tetrick’s second daughter, Regan, called her father strong yet gentle, describing a man who carried himself with confidence but also with humility. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, 26 Nov. 2022 In order to protect public health and to restore public confidence in the water supply, Millis is moving as rapidly as possible, within funding limitations, to design/construct treatment upgrades for the D'Angelis Water Treatment Plant. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Nov. 2022 The immortal is a skilled warrior who carries herself with confidence — something Clark had to learn. Emily Zemler, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2022 Bale converted it with confidence and guaranteed his team a point. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 21 Nov. 2022 The ball moves with such purpose around the perimeter when the entire team is shooting with confidence. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, 20 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 9 Dec. 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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