- something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.
- confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.
- confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.
- a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.
Origin of belief
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for belief
One wonders if his subsequent battles with the “Evil Empire” were animated by this belief.The Evangelical Apocalypse Is All Your Fault
January 4, 2015
The incident sparked his belief in Santa, but he would have to wait nearly two decades before dressing up as Jolly St. Nick.
The congressman traces his belief in Santa Claus back 40 years, when he was a student going to college “on the GI Bill.”
His belief that officers really did find his fingerprints at the scene seems to have encouraged his false confession.How the U.S. Justice System Screws Prisoners with Disabilities
December 16, 2014
If any belief summed up the players I was writing about, here it was.A West Point MVP Who Never Played a Down
December 13, 2014
They laid Paralus upon a couch, with the belief that he slept to wake no more.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
She had a belief that her father's house was nicer than other people's houses.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
So we voice our hope and our belief that we can help to heal this divided world.
In Hal Dozier there was a belief that the end justified the means.Way of the Lawless
The less you understood the more credit your belief became to you.The Conquest of Fear
- a principle, proposition, idea, etc, accepted as true
- opinion; conviction
- religious faith
- trust or confidence, as in a person or a person's abilities, probity, etc
Word Origin and History for belief
late 12c., bileave, replacing Old English geleafa "belief, faith," from West Germanic *ga-laubon "to hold dear, esteem, trust" (cf. Old Saxon gilobo, Middle Dutch gelove, Old High German giloubo, German Glaube), from *galaub- "dear, esteemed," from intensive prefix *ga- + *leubh- "to care, desire, like, love" (see love (v.)). The prefix was altered on analogy of the verb believe. The distinction of the final consonant from that of believe developed 15c.
"The be-, which is not a natural prefix of nouns, was prefixed on the analogy of the vb. (where it is naturally an intensive) .... [OED]
Belief used to mean "trust in God," while faith meant "loyalty to a person based on promise or duty" (a sense preserved in keep one's faith, in good (or bad) faith and in common usage of faithful, faithless, which contain no notion of divinity). But faith, as cognate of Latin fides, took on the religious sense beginning in 14c. translations, and belief had by 16c. become limited to "mental acceptance of something as true," from the religious use in the sense of "things held to be true as a matter of religious doctrine" (a sense attested from early 13c.).