confidence

1 of 2

noun

con·​fi·​dence ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s How to pronounce confidence (audio)
-ˌden(t)s
1
a
: 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
b
: faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way
have confidence in a leader
2
: the quality or state of being certain : certitude
they had every confidence of success
3
a
: a relation of trust or intimacy
took his friend into his confidence
b
: reliance on another's discretion
Their story was told in strictest confidence.
c
: support especially in a legislative body
vote of confidence
4
: a communication made in confidence : secret
accused him of betraying a confidence

confidence

2 of 2

adjective

: 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

Examples of confidence in a Sentence

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
Noun
This comprehensive approach is not only necessary to navigate the new regulations, but essential for protecting shareholder interests and maintaining the integrity of public confidence. Emil Sayegh, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 That kind of confidence is handy on film sets, where being intimidated by famous actors and directors is a liability. Rebecca Keegan, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Feb. 2024 But Choice Hotels is exuding confidence that the deal would be approved by Joe Biden’s fiercely progressive Federal Trade Commission. John Fund, National Review, 13 Feb. 2024 That, too, was part of a plan to show confidence in Joveljic and keep him from looking over his shoulder because there really is no Plan B. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2024 The location, leasing activity and backing from a high-net-worth family provided confidence in the development for both lenders and the city, Najem said. Isis Almeida, Fortune, 13 Feb. 2024 Logan's unparalleled service - coupled with high quality, experienced staff, the best technology, loan products, & training - helps make non-QM easy and provides our partners with the highest confidence in our delivery and in our ability to help grow their client base. Sacramento Bee, 13 Feb. 2024 This mini dress is a must-have for anyone who wants a confidence boost and is looking to be the center of attention before the ball drops on the big night. Kat Romero, Rolling Stone, 31 Jan. 2024 So stick with the process, Cronin told a team heavy on freshmen but short on confidence, focus on the fundamentals and don’t worry about the results. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 31 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'confidence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

Adjective

from attributive use of confidence entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

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

Adjective

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confidence. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

confidence

1 of 2 noun
con·​fi·​dence ˈkän-fəd-ən(t)s How to pronounce confidence (audio)
-fə-ˌden(t)s
1
: a feeling of trust or belief
had confidence in our coach
2
: a feeling of certainty : assurance
spoke with great confidence
3
a
: reliance on another's secrecy or loyalty
told us in confidence
b
: legislative support
vote of confidence
4
: something told in confidence : secret

confidence

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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