be·​lief | \ bə-ˈlēf How to pronounce belief (audio) \

Definition of belief

1 : a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing her belief in God a belief in democracy I bought the table in the belief that it was an antique. contrary to popular belief
2 : something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion : something believed an individual's religious or political beliefs especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group the beliefs of the Catholic Church
3 : conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence belief in the validity of scientific statements

Synonyms & Antonyms for belief



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Choose the Right Synonym for belief

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

synonyms see in addition opinion

Examples of belief in a Sentence

There is growing belief that these policies will not succeed. He gets angry if anyone challenges his religious beliefs. We challenged his beliefs about religion.
Recent Examples on the Web Lee's experiences have only strengthened her belief in the system. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 22 July 2022 Many CEOs besides Musk have been vocal about their belief in the superiority of in-person work. Jane Thier, Fortune, 20 July 2022 By degrees — not epiphanically, not pegged to any one thing — his belief in this country stopped seeming ridiculous to me. New York Times, 18 July 2022 The church also has published essays on a range of thorny historical and doctrinal issues from polygamy and race to its belief in Heavenly Mother and humanity’s godlike potential. Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 July 2022 My belief in Pat Riley, Andy Elisburg and the organization puts my money on one deal or the other getting done. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 13 July 2022 No matter what challenges life hands you, your belief in the Lord will get you through. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 11 July 2022 Instead, Elon mostly focused on building a society on Mars and his belief in the need to boost birth rates on Earth, one source told Reuters. Giovana Gelhoren,, 9 July 2022 Mayor Gary Christenson and Police Commissioner Salvatore Gennetti also expressed their belief in Cronin’s ability to lead the members of the Malden force. Nick Stoico,, 29 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of belief

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for belief

Middle English beleave, probably alteration of Old English gelēafa, from ge-, associative prefix + lēafa; akin to Old English lȳfan — more at believe

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Time Traveler for belief

Time Traveler

The first known use of belief was in the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near belief

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Statistics for belief

Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Belief.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for belief


be·​lief | \ bə-ˈlēf How to pronounce belief (audio) \

Kids Definition of belief

1 : a feeling of being sure that a person or thing exists or is true or trustworthy belief in ghosts belief in democracy
2 : religious faith
3 : something believed It's my belief that our team really won.

Choose the Right Synonym for belief

belief and faith mean agreement with the truth of something. belief is used when there is some kind of evidence for believing even though the believer is not always sure of the truth. The story strengthened my belief in ghosts. faith is used when the believer is certain even if there is no evidence or proof. Even after the robbery, I kept my faith in the goodness of people.

synonyms see in addition opinion



Legal Definition of belief

: a degree of conviction of the truth of something especially based on a consideration or examination of the evidence — compare knowledge, suspicion

More from Merriam-Webster on belief

Nglish: Translation of belief for Spanish Speakers

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


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