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con·​fi·​dence ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s How to pronounce confidence (audio)
: a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances
had perfect confidence in her ability to succeed
met the risk with brash confidence
: faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way
have confidence in a leader
: the quality or state of being certain : certitude
they had every confidence of success
: a relation of trust or intimacy
took his friend into his confidence
: reliance on another's discretion
Their story was told in strictest confidence.
: support especially in a legislative body
vote of confidence
: a communication made in confidence : secret
accused him of betraying a confidence


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: of, relating to, or adept at swindling by false promises
a confidence game
a confidence man
Choose the Right Synonym for confidence

confidence, assurance, self-possession, aplomb mean a state of mind or a manner marked by easy coolness and freedom from uncertainty, diffidence, or embarrassment.

confidence stresses faith in oneself and one's powers without any suggestion of conceit or arrogance.

the confidence that comes from long experience

assurance carries a stronger implication of certainty and may suggest arrogance or lack of objectivity in assessing one's own powers.

handled the cross-examination with complete assurance

self-possession implies an ease or coolness under stress that reflects perfect self-control and command of one's powers.

answered the insolent question with complete self-possession

aplomb implies a manifest self-possession in trying or challenging situations.

handled the reporters with great aplomb

Example Sentences

Noun The class gave me more confidence. He lacked the confidence to succeed. The experience gave her the confidence to start her own business. Good grades boosted her confidence. It takes time to build confidence when you are learning a new skill. They have an air of confidence about them. She has done little to gain their confidence. School officials express confidence that the problem will soon be resolved. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Regaining markets’ confidence—or finding new private funding—will be essential to avoid problems as the Indian conglomerate’s dollar bonds start coming due. Megha Mandavia, WSJ, 2 Feb. 2023 Thanks to supporters like you, the Boy Scouts of America helps youth across the country develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills and citizenship skills that will influence their adult lives. Dallas News, 1 Feb. 2023 Channeling a style icon takes confidence, which Sanders has plenty of. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 31 Jan. 2023 From Reid’s patience with Mahomes to Taylor’s confidence in Burrow, from Sirianni’s gameplan for Hurts to Shanahan’s system for Garoppolo, the teams left standing have all found a way to let the success of one bring out the best in the other. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 28 Jan. 2023 The Adani saga is likely to sour investor confidence in India, at least temporarily, making the pain trade higher for many active emerging markets funds that have been overweight India and underweight China over the past year. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 From Hollywood heavy-hitters like Issa Rae and Ava DuVernay to Olympic gold medalists like Simone Biles and Shawn Johnson, this round-up includes powerful quotes from women who exemplify strength, confidence, courage and unmatched resilience. Karla Pope, Good Housekeeping, 24 Jan. 2023 The confidence that [Coach] instilled in me from day one. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Jan. 2023 In fact, research shows that regular family dinners correlate with higher grade-point averages, greater self-confidence, and lower rates of substance abuse and depression. Deborah Farmer Kris, Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English confydence, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French confidence, borrowed from Latin confīdentia, from confīdent-, confīdens "trusting in oneself, confident" + -ia -ia entry 1


from attributive use of confidence entry 1

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1849, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of confidence was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near confidence

Cite this Entry

“Confidence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
con·​fi·​dence ˈkän-fəd-ən(t)s How to pronounce confidence (audio)
: a feeling of trust or belief
had confidence in our coach
: a feeling of certainty : assurance
spoke with great confidence
: reliance on another's secrecy or loyalty
told us in confidence
: legislative support
vote of confidence
: something told in confidence : secret


2 of 2 adjective
: of, relating to, or skilled at swindling by false promises
a confidence game
a confidence man

More from Merriam-Webster on confidence

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