dis·​be·​lief | \ˌdis-bə-ˈlēf \

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

Yet none scored, the Orioles left in disbelief and still trailing 3-2 after Chris Davis went the other way against the shift but still saw Maikel Franco corral it on a dive and retire him at first base. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles have their chances, but fail to capitalize in 3-2 loss to Phillies," 4 July 2018 In 2016, the most common response to Prince’s death was disbelief. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Sign O’ The Times: Paisley Park Offers A Public Tour," 21 June 2018 For several minutes, Haverly spoke to news station WNEP on Friday in apparent disbelief. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "After Allegedly Beating Mom to Death, Man Gave TV Interview Claiming It Was 'Some Kind of a Hit'," 11 June 2018 Hi, Derek’—he curled that perfect upper lip and looked away, exhaling in disbelief and disgust. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Chrissy Metz Says Her Childhood Crush Refused to Be Seen With Her in Public," 27 Mar. 2018 Rihanna clapped back at the popular app on her Instagram story Thursday morning (March 15) in utter disbelief of their wrongdoing. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Rihanna Responds to Controversial Snapchat Advertisement: 'Throw the Whole App-oligy Away'," 15 Mar. 2018 His explanation that the watches had been loaned to him by friends met with general disbelief and ridicule. Tassanee Vejpongsa, The Seattle Times, "Thai protesters urge military rulers to give up power," 10 Feb. 2018 Just like Jay-Z surprised himself by disowning the b-word, this side of my personality has left me in utter disbelief. Alicia Harper, Redbook, "Having a Son Changed Me, Just Like Blue Ivy Changed Jay-Z," 20 Jan. 2012 A few feet away two other Mexican players tumbled to the turf in anger, disbelief and exhaustion; at the edge of the penalty area Miguel Layun sat on the grass, pulled his knees to his chest and sobbed. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "Neymar tumbles and Mexico falls yet again in World Cup knockout round," 2 July 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

10 Nov 2018

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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 \

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 clear from alleged fault or guilt

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