dis·​be·​lieve ˌdis-bə-ˈlēv How to pronounce disbelieve (audio)
disbelieved; disbelieving; disbelieves

transitive verb

: to hold not worthy of belief : not believe

intransitive verb

: to withhold or reject belief
disbeliever noun

Example Sentences

Several jurors disbelieved the witness's testimony. many disbelieved the medium's claims that she could communicate with the spirits of the dead
Recent Examples on the Web The system has been designed to disbelieve them, the veterans complain. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive, 10 Aug. 2022 Visited upon multiple characters, the mounting misfortune that ensues stems from the timely subject of society’s patriarchal tendency to disbelieve women, or to grant certain female archetypes more credibility than others. Guy Lodge, Variety, 19 May 2022 Not surprisingly, fellow-travelers on the left criticized Conquest either from a wish to disbelieve the Soviet horrors or from an ideological sympathy that compelled extenuation of them. Peter J. Travers, National Review, 29 Mar. 2022 Last September, at his first, brief family visit, Torres seemed healthy, so much so that his relatives tended to disbelieve the other prisoners’ reports of mistreatment. Alma Guillermoprieto, The New Yorker, 10 Mar. 2022 Tens of millions of voters were willing to disbelieve the media. WSJ, 7 Jan. 2022 Rarely in history has a president so efficiently trained the public to disbelieve him as a matter of course. Lili Loofbourow, The Week, 13 Nov. 2017 Unfortunately, both physicians and nurses disbelieve the patients based on the results of a normal blood pressure reading. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 25 Nov. 2021 Strangulation is often a sign that an abuser is working his way up to killing his victim; its effects also include the mental fog and discombobulated accounts that can make people disbelieve women. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 17 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disbelieve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1644, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of disbelieve was circa 1644

Dictionary Entries Near disbelieve

Cite this Entry

“Disbelieve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disbelieve. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


dis·​be·​lieve ˌdis-bə-ˈlēv How to pronounce disbelieve (audio)
: to think not to be true or real : fail to believe
disbelieved the witness's testimony
disbeliever noun

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