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 Donald Trump deserves plenty of blame for lowering popular confidence in election integrity — to the point of depressing turnout for those Georgia runoffs and handing the Senate to the Democrats — but so does Stacey Abrams. Ilya Shapiro, National Review, "Georgia Election-Law Backlash Exposes Outrageous Double Standard," 5 Apr. 2021 Republican supporters say the law is needed to restore confidence in Georgia’s elections. Ben Nadler And Jeff Amy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Georgia’s new GOP election explained: What it does and doesn't do," 4 Apr. 2021 Georgia Republicans say changes were needed to maintain voter confidence in the election system., "Politicians react to MLB All-Star Game being yanked from Georgia over voting law," 4 Apr. 2021 Looking back on her four years at Stanford, Williams said developing confidence has been her biggest area of growth. Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, "Stanford's Kiana Williams chasing national championship dream in San Antonio homecoming," 3 Apr. 2021 Copeland said a compromised testing program, whether in college sports or elsewhere, can lead to obvious inequities, and also serve to undercut confidence in the system. Eddie Pells, ajc, "AP Sources: NCAA has not tested for drugs at championships," 2 Apr. 2021 Joakim Soria looks like a solid option for the closer’s role, but little else about the bullpen inspires much confidence, particularly with veteran Tyler Clippard out with a shoulder injury. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, "Breaking down the 2021 Arizona Diamondbacks," 28 Mar. 2021 The judge agreed the project’s environmental impact statement failed to present its information and analysis regarding climate impacts in a way that gave the public much confidence that the BLM complied with NEPA. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Judge taps brakes on Utah coal mine expansion, orders climate change analysis," 27 Mar. 2021 However, forecast confidence for this week’s system isn’t as high as last week’s because of differences in computer model forecasts. Leigh Morgan, al, "Severe weather possible in Alabama again this week," 22 Mar. 2021

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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Learn More about confidence

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

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Confidence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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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 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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