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

Examples of confidence in a Sentence

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This includes maintaining confidence in our election processes and outcomes. Shawn Raymundo, The Arizona Republic, 9 July 2024 Biden has attempted to project confidence in the days after his debate. David Sivak, Washington Examiner - Political News and Conservative Analysis About Congress, the President, and the Federal Government, 9 July 2024 The storyteller glides through Jaipur’s bustling streets with a calm grace, and that confidence rubs off on you. Lydia Price, Travel + Leisure, 9 July 2024 Baldwin’s defense team had shared the judge’s confidence in a swift selection process. Muri Assunção, New York Daily News, 9 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for confidence 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'confidence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 14 Jul. 2024.

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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