- 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 believing
But he insisted that CIA employees had tried their best, all the while believing that another attack was around the corner.John Brennan’s Tortured Defense of the CIA’s Torture Program
December 11, 2014
They practiced ceremonial cannibalism, believing the hearts of their victims would imbue them with power.‘Argo’ in the Congo: The Ghosts of the Stanleyville Hostage Crisis
November 23, 2014
The marketing for the film was designed to intentionally mislead viewers into believing that it was based on a true story.Here’s Why Your Favorite Horror Movies Are So Left-Wing
October 31, 2014
The Oculus Rift essentially tricks your brain into believing what it sees is real.Welcome to Oculus XXX: In-Your-Face 3D is the Future of Porn
October 18, 2014
So feminist includes the idea that believing men and women to be equal, believing all people to be people, is not a natural state.Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Why He’s Exploring the Word ‘Feminism’ and Online Misogyny
September 22, 2014
Since He has borne the punishment for me, I, believing on Him, need no longer be punished.An Explanation of Luther's Small Catechism
Against all evidence she was holding this man honest, believing her brother the thief.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
For the most part I succeeded in believing it, but it is just to add that the neighborhood did not.In the Valley
If Marion had come of a believing family, she could have brought me back into the fold.Questionable Shapes
William Dean Howells
Believing themselves to be alone with the sunset, there was no reason to lower their voices.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
- (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 believing
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.
Idioms and Phrases with believing
see seeing is believing.