con·fi·dence | \ ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s , -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


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

Voter confidence is the biggest challenge in securing elections. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "The Cybersecurity 202: Election security legislation may be gaining steam in Congress," 12 July 2018 That lack of experience has not affected the billionaire’s immense self-regard and confidence in crafting international deals. Andrew Malcolm,, "Will Trump stand up to Putin or fall for him?," 12 July 2018 But confidence is higher than it's been in a decade in West Lafayette and this is an important measuring stick game against the Big Ten's best. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "Ranking Indiana's top 50 college football games in 2018," 11 July 2018 In a Monday afternoon meeting, both lawmakers made their positions clear, Bodeau said: The Haitian people had lost confidence in the government. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "Haitian officials knew the gas price hike would be unpopular. They did it anyway," 10 July 2018 Public confidence in the White House is on par with that of the Supreme Court. Hannah Fingerhut, The Seattle Times, "Supreme Court enjoys relatively high public confidence," 9 July 2018 Part of Debbie-as-Liberty Belle's confidence is the result of more wrestling experience, and season two gives us even more difficult moves and matches. Bonnie Stiernberg, Glamour, "If Betty Gilpin Doesn't Get an Emmy for GLOW, It's a Crime," 6 July 2018 By awarding the launch to SpaceX, the US Air Force is giving the company a vote of confidence in a rocket that has only launched once so far. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "SpaceX wins bid to fly classified military satellite on Falcon Heavy," 22 June 2018 Unemployment is at multiyear lows, retail sales are strong, consumer confidence is high and the inflation rate remains relatively subdued. Peter Eavis, New York Times, "Investors Fret About a Trade War, but They Aren’t Fleeing the Stock Market," 17 June 2018

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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Statistics for confidence

Last Updated

30 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for confidence

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

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More Definitions for confidence



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 \

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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Comments on confidence

What made you want to look up confidence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a magnificent or impressive array

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