\ ˈtrəst How to pronounce trust (audio) \

Definition of trust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
b : one in which confidence is placed
2a : dependence on something future or contingent : hope
b : reliance on future payment for property (such as merchandise) delivered : credit bought furniture on trust
3a : a property interest held by one person for the benefit of another
b : a combination of firms or corporations formed by a legal agreement especially : one that reduces or threatens to reduce competition
4a : care, custody the child committed to her trust
b(1) : a charge or duty imposed in faith or confidence or as a condition of some relationship
(2) : something committed or entrusted to one to be used or cared for in the interest of another
c : responsible charge or office
5 archaic : trustworthiness
in trust
: in the care or possession of a trustee


trusted; trusting; trusts

Definition of trust (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of : believe trust a rumor
b : to place confidence in : rely on a friend you can trust
c : to hope or expect confidently trusts that the problem will be resolved soon
2a : to commit or place in one's care or keeping : entrust
b : to permit to stay or go or to do something without fear or misgiving
3 : to extend credit to

intransitive verb

1a : to place confidence : depend trust in God trust to luck
b : to be confident : hope
2 : to sell or deliver on credit

Other Words from trust


trustability \ ˌtrə-​stə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce trust (audio) \ noun
trustable \ ˈtrə-​stə-​bəl How to pronounce trust (audio) \ adjective
truster noun
trustingly \ ˈtrə-​stiŋ-​lē How to pronounce trust (audio) \ adverb
trustingness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for trust

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of trust in a Sentence

Noun A hope is more than resolve, and it is based on trust in a divine faithfulness that operates not only within history, but also beyond history. — John Polkinghorne, Times Literary Supplement, 3 May 2002 Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust. — Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, 1858 Our relationship is founded on mutual love and trust. His lies and deception shattered my trust in him. She has no trust in the security of online banking. He created a trust for his children. The property will be held in trust until her 18th birthday. laws limiting the formation of trusts Verb It is these questions which define the crisis confronting the CIA—an increasingly clear-eyed skepticism among legislators, commentators, the broad general public, and the rest of the world that American intelligence officials, when they are under pressure, can be trusted to call them as they see them. — Thomas Powers, New York Review of Books, 29 Apr. 2004 Perhaps Hollywood can't be trusted to make Hollywood-style movies anymore. — Richard Corliss, Time, 13 Dec. 2004 Whenever Eugenides presses on his themes this way, he bruises them; he stops trusting in his tale, apparently unaware that its very form incarnates its theme better than can any commentary. — James Wood, New Republic, 7 Oct. 2002 The strong man, or the junta or the plutocracy could no more be trusted with a monopoly on power than the commissariat. — Kevin Baker, Harper's, May 2001 Nagumo also trusted in the complicated battle plan for the Midway operation, which called for a diversionary raid on Alaska's Aleutian Island chain, to draw off American naval strength. — David M. Kennedy, Atlantic, March 1999 Working together is going to be difficult if you don't trust each other. “Are you sure this will work?” “Trust me. I know what I'm doing.” If you have a problem, tell your parent, teacher, or someone else you trust. I should never have trusted him. Their company is a trusted name in quality appliances. Don't trust everything you read. You can't trust the rumors. You should trust your instincts and do what you think is right. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun However, newsroom employees described a different scenario, saying Mester, who joined KTLA in 2014, had violated their trust. Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep. 2022 Kelly said crime victims typically place their trust in prosecutors, who often forge a close relationship and pledge to seek justice on their behalf. Lea Skene, Baltimore Sun, 21 Sep. 2022 People may have built their world around a church or church leader, then discovered their trust was misplaced. Christine D. Gonzales-wong, Chron, 21 Sep. 2022 The next step is starting a conversation with a potential victim to gain their trust. Cezary Podkul, ProPublica, 19 Sep. 2022 Nasty scams and malware are preying on your trust by hiding behind the ads that sit on top of search pages. Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2022 Phillip Ihenacho, in our last of several Zoom conversations, said that such a registry would be a priority for his trust. David Frum, The Atlantic, 14 Sep. 2022 Hackett decided to take the ball out of his $296 million man’s hands and place his trust in a kicker who’s now 1 for 8 from 60-plus yards in his career after Brandon McManus hooked what would have been the second-longest field goal in NFL history. San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Sep. 2022 Breaking these factions into their own parties wouldn’t bolster our trust in the federal government. WSJ, 13 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Does Jack trust Frank (Chris Pine), the Peterson-esque head of the company who runs the town with his wife, Shelley (Gemma Chan)? Sonia Rao, Washington Post, 24 Sep. 2022 For Android smartphones and tablets, trust the Ultra and its high Speed Classes to transfer up to 1,000 photos per minute. Fionna Agomuoh, Popular Mechanics, 23 Sep. 2022 True servant leaders trust the experts around them. Taylor Seely, The Arizona Republic, 20 Sep. 2022 In contrast, voters trust the Republicans more on the economy by a 14-point margin, 52 percent to 38 percent., 16 Sep. 2022 Why trust us? Car and Driver and its sibling publications at Hearst Autos represent three of the most influential automotive publications in the world. Collin Morgan And Jon Langston, Car and Driver, 16 Sep. 2022 Investing lesson of the week: Never trust a politician. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 13 Sep. 2022 Don’t trust any of the dozen other Newhouse flacks who worked on this surveillance file. Anthony Lydgate, WIRED, 6 Sep. 2022 Even with new pipes and a different water source, the Bells don't trust what comes out of their tap and buy about 10 cases of bottled water a week for cooking, brushing teeth, making coffee and for them and their dogs to drink. Sara Sidner And Meridith Edwards, CNN, 8 Sep. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of trust


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


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

History and Etymology for trust

Noun and Verb

Middle English, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse traust trust; akin to Old English trēowe faithful — more at true entry 1

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Time Traveler for trust

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for trust

Last Updated

25 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Trust.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for trust


\ ˈtrəst How to pronounce trust (audio) \
trusted; trusting

Kids Definition of trust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to rely on or on the truth of : believe I wouldn't trust anything he says.
2 : to place confidence in someone or something She doesn't trust the car to get us home.
3 : to be confident : hope "I trust you will not damage your gown this time."— Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted



Kids Definition of trust (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : firm belief in the character, strength, or truth of someone or something He placed his trust in me.
2 : a person or thing in which confidence is placed
3 : confident hope I waited in trust of their return.
4 : a property interest held by one person or organization (as a bank) for the benefit of another
5 : a combination of firms or corporations formed by a legal agreement and often held to reduce competition
6 : an organization in which money is held or managed by someone for the benefit of another or others
7 : responsibility for safety and well-being I left my cat in the trust of neighbors.



Legal Definition of trust

1a : a fiduciary relationship in which one party holds legal title to another's property for the benefit of a party who holds equitable title to the property
b : an entity resulting from the establishment of such a relationship — see also beneficiary, cestui que trust, corpus, declaration of trust at declaration sense 4, principal, settlor

Note: Trusts developed out of the old English use. The traditional requirements of a trust are a named beneficiary and trustee (who may be the settlor), an identified res, or property, to be transferred to the trustee and constitute the principal of the trust, and delivery of the res to the trustee with the intent to create a trust. Not all relationships labeled as trusts have all of these characteristics, however. Trusts are often created for their advantageous tax treatment.

accumulation trust
: a trust in which principal and income are allowed to accumulate rather than being paid out

Note: Accumulation trusts are disfavored and often restricted in the law.

active trust
: a trust in which legal title remains in the trustee who has a duty to act affirmatively (as in exercising control, discretion, and judgment) with regard to the property — compare passive trust in this entry
alimony trust
: a trust created often in accordance with a separation agreement in which property is transferred to the trust as a source of support for a divorced spouse with a remainder to someone else
bank account trust
: totten trust in this entry
business trust
: a trust that is created for the purpose of making profit and that is usually characterized by some kind of commercial activity, transferable certificates of interest, existence continuing after the death of beneficiaries, limited liability, legal title in the hands of trustees, and officers having duties of management

called also common-law trust, Massachusetts trust

Note: A trust that qualifies as a business trust is eligible for bankruptcy protection under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.

bypass trust
: a trust in which a spouse leaves his or her estate upon death to a trust naming the surviving spouse as beneficiary usually with remainders to children or other descendants

called also bypass shelter trust, credit shelter trust, shelter trust

Note: The purpose of a bypass trust is to reduce the surviving spouse's taxable estate. Such trusts do not qualify for the marital deduction.

charitable lead trust \ -​ˈlēd-​ \
: a trust in which a charity is named as the beneficiary for a period of time after which named individuals succeed as beneficiaries
charitable remainder annuity trust
: a charitable remainder trust in which the named beneficiaries receive a fixed payment of not less than five percent of the fair market value of the original principal over the course of a specified period after which the remaining principal passes to charity
charitable remainder trust
: a trust in which individuals are named as beneficiaries to receive income for a period of time (as the lifetimes of the beneficiaries) after which the principal passes to charity

Note: Charitable remainder trusts qualify for tax exemptions under section 664 of the Internal Revenue Code.

charitable remainder unitrust \ -​ˈyü-​nə-​ˌtrəst \
: a charitable remainder trust in which the named beneficiaries receive payments of a fixed percentage and not less than five percent of the value of the trust assets as determined annually for a specified period after which the remainder passes to charity
charitable trust
: a trust created for the purpose of performing charity or providing social benefits

Note: Unlike most trusts, a charitable trust does not require definite beneficiaries and may exist in perpetuity.

Clifford trust \ ˈkli-​fərd-​ \
: a grantor trust lasting at least ten years with income payable to a beneficiary and principal reverting to the settlor upon termination

Note: Prior to the Tax Reform Act of 1986, a Clifford trust could be used to divert income from the settlor, who was in a higher tax bracket, to a beneficiary, often a child, who was in a lower tax bracket. A settlor is currently treated as the owner of any portion of a trust in which he or she has a reversionary interest, and taxes are calculated at the settlor's rate.

common-law trust
: business trust in this entry
complex trust
: a trust under which any or all income does not have to be distributed and principal may be distributed — compare simple trust in this entry
constructive trust
1 : an implied trust imposed by a court to prevent the unjust enrichment of one who has wrongfully obtained (as through fraud or bad faith) title to the property or a property interest of another

called also trust de son tort, trust ex delicto, trust ex maleficio

— compare resulting trust in this entry
2 : an equitable remedy to prevent unjust enrichment by imposing a constructive trust
credit shelter trust
: bypass trust in this entry
Crummey trust \ ˈkrə-​mē-​ \
: a trust which allows a donor to place a gift in trust while qualifying for the gift tax annual exclusion by giving the beneficiary an immediate right to the gift for a limited time after which it can only be accessed under the terms of the trust
discretionary trust
: a trust that gives the trustee authority to exercise his or her discretion in distributing principal or income to the beneficiary
dry trust
: passive trust in this entry
executed trust
: a trust in which nothing is left to be done by the trustee but preserve the property and execute the purpose of the trust
executory trust
: a trust in which the settlor or trustee has duties to perform (as securing the property, ascertaining the objects of the trust, or making distributions)
express trust
: a trust intentionally created by the settlor specifically : a trust created by a positive act of the settlor and set down in writing that expresses the intention to create a trust, identifies the property to be placed in trust, and names beneficiaries
generation-skipping trust
: a trust in which the principal goes to a skip person usually following payment of income for life to a non-skip person : a trust created by a generation-skipping transfer of property in trust
grantor retained annuity trust
: an irrevocable trust in which the grantor retains the right to a fixed annuity for a set term of years after which the trust assets transfer to the beneficiary
grantor retained income trust
: an irrevocable trust in which the grantor retains the right to all income for a specified term or for whichever comes first of a specified term or death after which the trust assets transfer to the beneficiary
grantor retained unitrust
: an irrevocable trust in which the grantor retains the right to receive annually a percentage of the fixed net fair market value of the assets for a specified term after which the trust assets transfer to the beneficiary
grantor trust
: a trust that is taxed at the settlor's tax rate because the settlor has the power to control the beneficial enjoyment of the trust, retains a reversionary interest in the trust, has administrative powers over the trust, has the power to revoke the trust, or benefits from the income of the trust
honorary trust \ ˈä-​nə-​ˌrer-​ē-​ \
: a trust that is created for a purpose which is not charitable and that names no specific beneficiary

Note: An honorary trust may be upheld where allowed by statute if its purpose (as for the care of an animal or grave) is sufficiently clear. An honorary trust is subject to the rule against perpetuities, however.

Illinois land trust
: land trust in this entry
implied trust
: a trust arising by operation of law when the circumstances of a transaction imply the creation of a trust that is not expressly created by the parties and especially when a trust is necessary to avoid an inequitable result or to prevent fraud
individual policy pension trust
: an insurance trust created as a retirement plan in which individual life insurance policies are purchased for employees and held in trust by the employer to fund the plan
insurance trust
: a trust in which the principal consists of an insurance policy or its proceeds
inter vivos trust
: a trust that becomes effective during the lifetime of the settlor

called also living trust

— compare testamentary trust in this entry
investment trust
: a business trust that is a closed-end investment company
involuntary trust
: implied trust in this entry especially : constructive trust in this entry
irrevocable trust
: a trust that cannot be revoked by the settlor after its creation except upon the consent of all the beneficiaries
land trust
: a trust created to effectuate a real estate ownership arrangement in which the trustee holds legal and equitable title to the property subject to the provisions of a trust agreement setting out the rights of the beneficiaries whose interests in the trust are declared to be personal property

called also Illinois land trust, naked land trust

living trust
: inter vivos trust in this entry
marital deduction trust
: a marital trust created in order to qualify for the marital deduction especially : power of appointment trust in this entry
marital trust
: a testamentary trust naming a surviving spouse as the beneficiary — see also marital deduction trust and power of appointment trust in this entry
Massachusetts trust \ ˌma-​sə-​ˈchü-​səts-​, -​zəts-​ \
: business trust in this entry
naked land trust
: land trust in this entry
naked trust
: passive trust in this entry
nominee trust
: a trust created for the purpose of holding property for beneficiaries whose identities are kept secret
oral trust
: a trust created by the settlor's spoken statements especially for the purpose of transferring real property as part of an agreement between the settlor and the trustee
passive trust
: a trust or use under which the trustee has no duties to perform : a trust in which legal and equitable titles are merged in the beneficiaries

called also dry trust, naked trust

— compare active trust in this entry
pour-over trust
: a trust that receives the assets that make up its principal by operation of a testamentary disposition to it usually of the residue of an estate or from another trust upon the settlor's death
power of appointment trust
: a marital trust that provides a surviving spouse with a life estate in property and a power of appointment allowing appointment of the property to the surviving spouse or to his or her estate

Note: A power of appointment trust made in accordance with Internal Revenue Code section 2056(b)(5) qualifies for the marital deduction.

protective trust
: a trust that attempts to shield assets from the beneficiaries' creditors by providing that it is within the trustee's discretion to refuse to pay a beneficiary or that a beneficiary forfeits his or her interest in the trust upon a creditor's attempt to reach it
purchase money resulting trust
: a resulting trust arising where not abolished by statute when property is purchased with title in the name of one person but using the money of another
QTIP trust \ ˈkyü-​ˌtip-​ \
: a trust to which qualified terminable interest property is transferred for purposes of taking the marital deduction
qualified charitable remainder trust
: a trust that is either a charitable remainder annuity trust or a charitable remainder unitrust
real estate investment trust
: a business trust similar to a closed-end investment company except that it invests in real estate either as an owner having equity in the property or as a lender holding mortgages on the property
resulting trust
: an implied trust based upon the presumed intentions of the parties as inferred from all the circumstances that the party holding legal title to trust property holds it for the benefit of the other — compare constructive trust in this entry
revocable trust
: a trust over which the settlor has retained the power of revocation
savings bank trust
: totten trust in this entry
shelter trust
: bypass trust in this entry
simple trust
: a trust under which all current income must be distributed and no principal may be distributed
spendthrift trust
: a trust that is created for the benefit of a spendthrift who is paid income therefrom and that cannot be reached by creditors to satisfy the spendthrift's debts
tentative trust
: totten trust in this entry
testamentary trust
: a trust created in a will to be effective upon the settlor's death
Totten trust \ ˈtät-​ᵊn-​ \
: a trust created by a deposit in a bank by one person as trustee for another that is revocable until the death of the depositor

called also bank account trust, savings bank trust, tentative trust

trust de son tort \ -​də-​ˌsōn-​ˈtȯrt, -​ˌsȯⁿ-​ˈtȯr \ Anglo-French de son tort (desmesne) from his or her (own) wrongful act
: constructive trust in this entry
trust ex delicto
: constructive trust in this entry
trust ex maleficio
: constructive trust in this entry
unitrust \ ˈyü-​nə-​ˌtrəst How to pronounce trust (audio) \
: a trust from which the beneficiary receives annually a fixed percentage of the net fair market value of the trust assets
unit trust
: a trust operating as a vehicle for investment whose portfolio consists of long-term bonds that are held to maturity
voting trust
: a trust created by the transfer of legal title to shares of stock to a trustee or trustees who exercise the corporate voting rights conferred by ownership of the shares as agreed in the trust instrument

Note: The shareholders transferring legal title to their shares retain the equitable title and continue to receive dividends and other distributions. They also receive certificates as evidence of their interest in the trust, which provides the holder with the rights of a shareholder except for voting rights.

2a : a combination of firms or corporations formed by an agreement establishing a trust whereby shareholders in the separate corporations exchange their shares for shares representing proportionate interest in the principal and income of the combination and surrender to the trustees the management and operation of the combined firms or corporations
b : a combination or aggregation of business entities formed by any of various means especially : one that reduces competition or is thought to present a threat of reducing competition — compare antitrust
3a : a charge or duty imposed in faith or confidence or as a condition of some relationship
b : something committed or entrusted to one to be used or cared for in the interest of another no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United StatesU.S. Constitution art. VI
c : the condition, obligation, or right of one to whom something is confided : responsible charge or office acted diligently in carrying out his trust as chairman of the board
d : custody a child committed to their trust
in trust
: in a trust property held in trust for the children

More from Merriam-Webster on trust

Nglish: Translation of trust for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trust for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about trust


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