- to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so: Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully.
- to have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story, etc.); give credence to.
- to have confidence in the assertions of (a person).
- to have a conviction that (a person or thing) is, has been, or will be engaged in a given action or involved in a given situation: The fugitive is believed to be headed for the Mexican border.
- to suppose or assume; understand (usually followed by a noun clause): I believe that he has left town.
- believe in,
- to be persuaded of the truth or existence of: to believe in Zoroastrianism; to believe in ghosts.
- to have faith in the reliability, honesty, benevolence, etc., of: I can help only if you believe in me.
- make believe. make1(def 68).
Origin of believe
Examples from the Web for believes
He has said he believes Al Sharpton is a “race pimp” and a pig.How James Woods Became Obama’s Biggest Twitter Troll
December 31, 2014
Wisner continues to feel angry toward the agency because she believes she was misled.Judge: Rehoming Kids Is Trafficking
December 30, 2014
Saleem believes that the strike came from a nearby airbase across the Iranian border.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan
December 29, 2014
All because Murthy believes that gun violence, which kills an average of 86 Americans every day, is a public health issue.The NRA’s Twisted List for Santa
December 23, 2014
Like many other Pakistani Taliban, Jamal has his own horror stories to tell, which he believes can justify any bloody retribution.Pakistani School Killers Want to Strike the U.S.
Sami Yousafzai, Christopher Dickey
December 17, 2014
She believes that this order is from my father, and that my mother has not been consulted upon it.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
It is because the Caucasian believes in Him that he lives in fear and dies in fear.The Conquest of Fear
It is a wonderful stimulus to have some one who believes in us.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
Jacques Dalcroze, like Plato, believes in saturating his pupils with music.A Treatise on Parents and Children
George Bernard Shaw
But she accepted it, because she believes the doctrines which Luther taught.An Explanation of Luther's Small Catechism
- (tr; may take a clause as object) to accept (a statement, supposition, or opinion) as trueI believe God exists
- (tr) to accept the statement or opinion of (a person) as true
- (intr foll by in) to be convinced of the truth or existence (of)to believe in fairies
- (intr) to have religious faith
- (when tr, takes a clause as object) to think, assume, or supposeI believe that he has left already
- (tr; foll by of; used with can, could, would, etc) to think that someone is able to do (a particular action)I wouldn't have believed it of him
Word Origin and History for believes
Old English belyfan "to believe," earlier geleafa (Mercian), gelefa (Northumbrian), gelyfan (West Saxon) "believe," from Proto-Germanic *ga-laubjan "to believe," perhaps literally "hold dear, love" (cf. Old Saxon gilobian "believe," Dutch geloven, Old High German gilouben, German glauben), ultimately a compound based on PIE *leubh- "to care, desire, love" (see belief).
Spelling beleeve is common till 17c.; then altered, perhaps by influence of relieve, etc. To believe on instead of in was more common in 16c. but now is a peculiarity of theology; believe of also sometimes was used in 17c. Related: Believed (formerly occasionally beleft); believing. Expression believe it or not attested by 1874; Robert Ripley's newspaper cartoon of the same name is from 1918. Emphatic you better believe attested from 1854.