- 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 beliefs
Interesting that those who sat in judgment of him found those two sets of beliefs to be incompatible.In Defense of Blasphemy
January 9, 2015
Whatever the reason, and however absurd their beliefs may seem, American evangelicals are deadly serious.The Evangelical Apocalypse Is All Your Fault
January 4, 2015
My understanding was that according to most Christian beliefs, being trans or gay was a sin, cut and dry.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen
January 1, 2015
Instead, he is cruelly jailed solely for the peaceful expression of his beliefs.Behind Bars for the Holidays: 11 Political Prisoners We Want to See Free In 2015
December 25, 2014
Liberals either boast or comfort themselves that their own beliefs push humanity forward.Glenn Beck Is Now Selling Hipster Clothes. Really.
Ana Marie Cox
December 20, 2014
Not to be tedious, they had many other beliefs of a similar kind.Little Dorrit
Haven't other people as good a right to live their beliefs as you?The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
She was so loyal, so courageous in her beliefs, such a great little sportswoman.The Law-Breakers
But doubtless he had this time touched her beliefs to the quick.Doctor Pascal
"My beliefs can matter nothing," he compromised, and made her a valedictory bow.The Lion's Skin
- 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 beliefs
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.).