\ ˈfāth \
plural faiths\ˈfāths, sometimesˈfāt͟hz \

Definition of faith 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

2a(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


\ ˈfāth \
faithed; faithing; faiths

Definition of faith (Entry 2 of 2)

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of faith in a Sentence


Faith without doubt leads to moral arrogance, the eternal pratfall of the religiously convinced. —Joe Klein, Time, 17 May 2004 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 Perrotta, Joe College, 2000 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 Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960 His supporters have accepted his claims with blind faith. Our faith in the government has been badly shaken by the recent scandals. Lending him the money to start his own business was an act of faith. It requires a giant leap of faith for us to believe that she is telling the truth. Nothing is more important to her than her faith in God. She says that her faith has given her the courage to deal with this tragedy.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Berry said that showed a lack of faith in the model used to value the properties in the first place. Hal Dardick,, "Berrios' analysts used Zillow, other shortcuts in assessing property values, documents show," 13 July 2018 His family said Nijm was arrested only because his long beard marked him as Salafi, a Muslim movement that, similarly to IS, advocates an austere interpretation of the faith. Hamza Hendawi, Fox News, "A neighbor's word can bring death sentence in Iraq IS trials," 9 July 2018 The Chiefs are putting a lot of faith in an old status quo. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Chiefs' defense, Royals' place, Vick's surprise & the Sam Mellinger I never met," 3 July 2018 Nearly half the usual number of mushers signed up for the Iditarod on Saturday, a turnout three-time champion Mitch Seavey said reflects a lack of faith in race management. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "28 mushers enter 2019 Iditarod, the smallest first-day signup this century," 1 July 2018 Carol was a person of faith and lived her life serving others through her involvement with the Cincinnati Junior League, sorority alumni, and various local philanthropic organizations., "Deaths in South Florida: 7/1," 1 July 2018 Over this past year, Scalise has repeatedly touted how his faith has helped him through. USA TODAY, "Rep. Scalise returns to the field for congressional baseball game a year after shooting," 14 June 2018 His deep religious faith helped keep him grounded and patient. Josh Robbins,, "Magic forward Jonathan Isaac works to strengthen his body during critical offseason," 11 June 2018 Keenum, who joined the Denver Broncos this offseason after a memorable playoff run with the Minnesota Vikings, describes how his faith in God has helped him overcome adversity and paved his path every step of the way. Matt Wyatt, Houston Chronicle, "Case Keenum to release new book in September," 6 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of faith


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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 fay entry 2). Indo-European *bhei̯dh- is also usually claimed to be the source of Germanic *bīðan- "to wait" (see bide).


verbal derivative of faith entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near faith



fait accompli


faith cure



Statistics for faith

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for faith

The first known use of faith was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for faith



English Language Learners Definition of faith

: strong belief or trust in someone or something

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

: a system of religious beliefs


\ ˈfāth \

Kids Definition of faith

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.



Legal Definition of faith 

1a : 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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Comments on faith

What made you want to look up faith? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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