noun \ ˈfāth \
|Updated on: 23 Jul 2018

Definition of faith

plural faiths play \ˈfāths, sometimes ˈfāt͟hz\
1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
  • lost faith in the company's president
b (1) : fidelity to one's promises
(2) : sincerity of intentions
  • acted in good faith
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God
(2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof
  • clinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return
(2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
  • the Protestant faith
on faith
: without question
  • took everything he said on faith

Examples of faith in a Sentence

  1. Faith without doubt leads to moral arrogance, the eternal pratfall of the religiously convinced. —Joe KleinTime17 May 2004
  2. Nick wiped at the moustache of sweat droplets that was as much a part of his face as his eyes and nose and gave a shrug that indicated a certain lack of faith in our judgment. —Tom PerrottaJoe College2000
  3. But while no one with a grain of sense trusted Miss Stephanie, Jem and I had considerable faith in Miss Maudie. She had never told on us, had never played cat-and-mouse with us, she was not at all interested in our private lives. She was our friend. —Harper LeeTo Kill a Mockingbird1960
  4. His supporters have accepted his claims with blind faith.

  5. Our faith in the government has been badly shaken by the recent scandals.

  6. Lending him the money to start his own business was an act of faith.

  7. It requires a giant leap of faith for us to believe that she is telling the truth.

  8. Nothing is more important to her than her faith in God.

  9. She says that her faith has given her the courage to deal with this tragedy.

Recent Examples of faith from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of faith

Middle English feith, fei, borrowed from Anglo-French feit, feid, fei, going back to Latin fidēs "trust, guarantee, proof, sincerity, loyalty, belief," going back to *bhid-ēi-, noun derivative from zero-grade of an Indo-European verbal base *bhei̯dh- "entrust, trust," whence Latin fīdere "to trust (in), have confidence (in)," fīdus "faithful," Greek peíthesthai "to obey, comply with, believe," peíthein "to persuade, prevail upon," Albanian be "oath," and probably Old Church Slavic běždǫ, běditi "to compel, constrain," běda "distress, need"
Note: The English word is an early loan from medieval French, first attested in a homily fragment from the 12th century (see feþ in Dictionary of Old English); it appears to preserve the final interdental fricative generally lost in early Old French—a loss reflected in the more common Anglo-French form fei (also loaned into Middle English—see 2fay). Indo-European *bhei̯dh- is also usually claimed to be the source of Germanic *bīðan- "to wait" (see bide).

Synonym Discussion of faith

belief, faith, credence, credit mean assent to the truth of something offered for acceptance. belief may or may not imply certitude in the believer.
    • my belief that I had caught all the errors
faith almost always implies certitude even where there is no evidence or proof.
    • an unshakable faith in God
credence suggests intellectual assent without implying anything about grounds for assent.
    • a theory now given credence by scientists
credit may imply assent on grounds other than direct proof.
    • gave full credit to the statement of a reputable witness



verb \ ˈfāth \

Definition of faith

faithed; faithing; faiths

Origin and Etymology of faith

verbal derivative of 1faith

FAITH Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of faith for English Language Learners

  • : strong belief or trust in someone or something

  • : belief in the existence of God : strong religious feelings or beliefs

  • : a system of religious beliefs

FAITH Defined for Kids


noun \ ˈfāth \

Definition of faith for Students

1 : strong belief or trust
  • I have faith in our leaders.
2 : belief in God
3 : a system of religious beliefs : religion
  • people of all faiths
4 : loyalty to duty or to a person or thing
  • The team's true fans keep the faith.

Law Dictionary



legal Definition of faith

1 a : allegiance or loyalty to a duty or a person
b : sincerity or honesty of intentions — see also bad faith, good faith
2 : fidelity to one's promises and obligations

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