con·​fi·​dence | \ ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s How to pronounce confidence (audio) , -ˌden(t)s \

Definition of confidence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
3a : 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



Definition of confidence (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Most encouraging, the Rays enter Thursday’s off-day buoyed with confidence, believing that the MVP of their team in the regular season finally is back. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Rays offense wakes up in Game 2 to even World Series against Dodgers," 22 Oct. 2020 Perry entered halftime with confidence, facing a 28-21 deficit. Matt Goul, cleveland, "CVCA gets its kicks in 55-28 playoff win at No. 23 Perry," 18 Oct. 2020 Jim says: Prior Lake is bursting with confidence after rallying from a two-touchdown halftime deficit to win at Wayzata. Star Tribune, "Star Tribune prep staff football picks for Week 2," 14 Oct. 2020 Even with many setbacks, White said, the team has been playing with more confidence since the season began. Rob Peeters, The Indianapolis Star, "Brebeuf Jesuit girls overcome setbacks to win sectional vs. Bishop Chatard," 11 Oct. 2020 The Razorbacks, who have been one of the SEC’s biggest surprises early this season and who upset Mississippi State a week ago, were brimming with confidence and had their eyes set on a second straight top-25 upset. Tom Green |, al, "Chad Morris, Anders Carlson get redemption late against Arkansas," 10 Oct. 2020 But Cincinnati is going into the Week 5 matchup with more confidence following an impressive all-around performance in Week 4. Tyler Dragon, The Enquirer, "Week 5 three keys: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens," 9 Oct. 2020 Policymakers used to assert with confidence that an unemployment rate below 6% would lead to high inflation. Peter Coy,, "The Most Dovish Fed in History Is on a Mission to Spur Inflation," 8 Oct. 2020 These fall/winter releases can help children, no matter what age, learn to cook and eat with confidence. Washington Post, "If you want your kids to get in the kitchen, these books and other resources can help," 7 Oct. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of confidence


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


1849, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for confidence


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


from attributive use of confidence entry 1

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Time Traveler for confidence

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for confidence

Last Updated

28 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Confidence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for confidence


How to pronounce confidence (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of confidence

: 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


con·​fi·​dence | \ ˈkän-fə-dəns How to pronounce confidence (audio) \

Kids Definition of confidence

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 : secret entry 2 Don't betray a confidence.

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