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

Definition of disbelieve

transitive verb

: to hold not worthy of belief : not believe

intransitive verb

: to withhold or reject belief

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Other Words from disbelieve

disbeliever noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disbelieve



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Examples of disbelieve in a Sentence

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 Cuomo has emphatically denounced xenophobia and there is no reason to disbelieve his sincerity, but many of his policies, and certainly the cuts in his budget, will further disenfranchise her most vulnerable constituents, many of them Chinese. Leah Carroll, refinery29.com, "Yuh-Line Niou Is Fighting For Chinatown’s Survival," 4 May 2020 To the rescue come the teenagers Mike (Grant Cramer) and Debbie (Suzanne Snyder), who try to convince disbelieving authorities that the murderous bozos aren’t joking. Erik Piepenburg, New York Times, "When Reality Is Scary Enough, These Movies Are Safe Nightmares," 2 Apr. 2020 The disbelieving comments themselves drive engagement, and bump the post’s position in other users’ feeds. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "You Can’t Buy Memes," 28 Feb. 2020 Meier’s study found that when fathers claim alienation, courts are more than twice as likely to disbelieve mothers’ claims of abuse — either child abuse or abuse against the mother — than if the father made no alienation claim. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, "‘A gendered trap’: When mothers allege child abuse by fathers, the mothers often lose custody, study shows," 29 July 2019 The stadium held its breath, everyone expecting to see the net bulge, but then came the noise of 40,000 disbelieving groans as Arsenal's captain dragged his shot wide of the post. Matias Grez, CNN, "Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left distraught after shock miss in dying seconds costs Arsenal," 28 Feb. 2020 These claims are widely disbelieved, in part because Clonaid did not allow independent testing of the babies, supposedly to protect the privacy of the babies and their families. Henry T. Greely, STAT, "Human reproductive cloning: The curious incident of the dog in the night-time," 21 Feb. 2020 When her disbelieving parents banish Pet, Jam and the creature team up in secret to hunt the monster. Washington Post, "Three new books for young readers explore challenge — and possibility," 14 Jan. 2020 Lawyers and victims’ advocates say women are too often disbelieved or turned away by law enforcement. Washington Post, "France grapples with high domestic violence rate," 22 Nov. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of disbelieve

circa 1644, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for disbelieve

Time Traveler

The first known use of disbelieve was circa 1644

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Cite this Entry

“Disbelieve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disbelieve. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for disbelieve


How to pronounce disbelieve (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disbelieve

formal : to not believe (someone or something)


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

Kids Definition of disbelieve

: to think not to be true or real The jury disbelieved the story.

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