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

When Cinderella comes out, the students are in disbelief. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Entire school learns sign language to welcome kindergartener who is deaf," 4 June 2019 Semple is such a talent that suspending disbelief becomes part of the fun. Nicole Y. Chung, The Seattle Times, "8 books to read before you see the movie adaptations," 20 Feb. 2019 Suspending disbelief is a prerequisite for watching most major sci-fi films and series as of late. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The First: Hulu’s new series about a human mission to Mars feels pretty real," 5 Sep. 2018 None of the steps along the way require readers to buy into sci-fi mumbo jumbo or to suspend disbelief. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "Wimbledon, Scarlett Johansson, House of Cards: Broadsheet July 6th," 6 July 2018 On Twitter, reactions included general disbelief and disgust. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Dolce & Gabbana's 'Chinese Chopsticks' Ad Accused of Racism," 20 Nov. 2018 That’s when those of us who could only watch the Kavanaugh case with anger, sadness, disbelief and disgust finally get our chance to speak. Nicole Brodeur, The Seattle Times, "88 angry emails and counting: Kavanaugh hearings deepen rift between men and women," 5 Oct. 2018 James didn’t look at Stephenson, but started to shake his head in disbelief and chuckled. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "Lance Stephenson: The best and worst of his Indiana Pacers career," 25 June 2018 Looks of disbelief and exasperation come over my patients and their families. Nathaniel Morris, chicagotribune.com, "Even suicidal patients are put on the ER wait list," 23 May 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

9 Jun 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).


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