dis·​be·​lief | \ ˌdis-bə-ˈlēf How to pronounce disbelief (audio) \

Definition of disbelief

: the act of disbelieving : mental rejection of something as untrue

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Synonyms & Antonyms for disbelief


incredulity, nonbelief, unbelief


belief, credence, credit

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Examples of disbelief in a Sentence

She stared at him in utter disbelief. their story explaining their absence was met with frank disbelief

Recent Examples on the Web

The ride-hailing model requires a type of suspension of disbelief, analysts said. Faiz Siddiqui, The Seattle Times, "As it gets set for IPO, Lyft outlines all the reasons ride-sharing could fail," 25 Mar. 2019 Just as one girl stood up to share some of her thoughts, Michelle crept through the door and hugged her from behind — and the room erupted into tears and squeals of disbelief. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Watch Michelle Obama and Oprah Surprise a Group of Unsuspecting High School Girls," 13 Nov. 2018 Provided your suspension of disbelief can handle the shocks, there are plenty more pacing gems to be found here. Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Shadow of the Tomb Raider review: Fighting for my life and loving it," 10 Sep. 2018 Connecticut chefs, restaurateurs and culinary figures are reacting to the death of Anthony Bourdain, sharing their sorrow, disbelief and gratitude for his influence. Leeanne Griffin, courant.com, "Connecticut Chefs React To Anthony Bourdain's Death," 9 June 2018 Everyone in the gymnasium, including of course his father, cheered in disbelief at the chip off the old block. Melissa Locker, Time, "LeBron James's 13-Year Old Son Almost Dunked And His Reaction Says It All," 25 June 2018 Gutierrez and other activists shook their heads in disbelief at police cordoning off the street and then watching them calmly, in a standoff. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "House Democrats try civil disobedience to protest Trump’s family separation policy," 14 June 2018 In the family home in Columbia, South Carolina, Jack and Tiffanie Reeves are still in near disbelief at how well Emmy is doing. Wayne Drash, CNN, "The medicine keeping her alive was also killing her," 12 June 2018 And the expression on the poor lad’s face, at the climax of the tale, is one of genuine bewilderment, quivering with disbelief that his ordinary young life should have descended into the infernal. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Hereditary” Delivers a New Kind of Horror," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disbelief.' 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 disbelief

1672, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for disbelief

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disbelief

The first known use of disbelief was in 1672

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More Definitions for disbelief



English Language Learners Definition of disbelief

: a feeling that you do not or cannot believe or accept that something is true or real


dis·​be·​lief | \ ˌdis-bə-ˈlēf How to pronounce disbelief (audio) \

Kids Definition of disbelief

: refusal or inability to believe She watched in disbelief.

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Comments on disbelief

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


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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