View synonyms for belief


[ bih-leef ]


  1. something believed; an opinion or conviction:

    a belief that the earth is flat.

    Synonyms: persuasion, conclusion, tenet, view

  2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof:

    a statement unworthy of belief.

    Synonyms: assurance

  3. confidence; faith; trust:

    a child's belief in his parents.

  4. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith:

    the Christian belief.

    Synonyms: dogma, doctrine


/ bɪˈliːf /


  1. a principle, proposition, idea, etc, accepted as true
  2. opinion; conviction
  3. religious faith
  4. trust or confidence, as in a person or a person's abilities, probity, etc

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Other Words From

  • prebe·lief noun
  • super·be·lief noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of belief1

First recorded in 1125–75; earlier bile(e)ve (noun use of verb); replacing Middle English bileave, equivalent to bi- be- + leave (probably from Old English -lēafa “belief”); cognate with Dutch geloof, German Glaube; akin to Gothic galaubeins

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Synonym Study

Belief, certainty, conviction refer to acceptance of, or confidence in, an alleged fact or body of facts as true or right without positive knowledge or proof. Belief is such acceptance in general: belief in astrology. Certainty indicates unquestioning belief and positiveness in one's own mind that something is true: I know this for a certainty. Conviction is settled, profound, or earnest belief that something is right: a conviction that a decision is just.

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Example Sentences

Human intelligence is incredibly useful but it doesn’t safeguard you against having false beliefs, because that’s not what intelligence is for.

Full belief, I want to suggest, needn’t be at the core of dehumanization, and an account of dehumanization needn’t commit on how demanding “belief” is or whether baldly contradictory belief is possible.

It also lacks the kind of intentions, goals, beliefs, and desires that drive language use in humans.

As Streumer concedes, if he believed his own view, he would believe that there are such things as good and bad reasons for belief, which is exactly what his view denies.

Hope derives from a belief that life has good things in store.

One wonders if his subsequent battles with the “Evil Empire” were animated by this belief.

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.”

To cyber security experts, the naivety of this statement beggars belief.

His belief that officers really did find his fingerprints at the scene seems to have encouraged his false confession.

He turned his eyes upon her; but no sympathy was in their beams; no belief in the semblance of her tears.

Belief in his own value had never been thus assailed before; that he was indispensable had been an ultimate assurance.

Although everybody laughed at such a notion, the Worm-eating Warbler declared that he had a right to his own belief.

Tom held to his strange belief to 'Let it all come,' he would not try to prevent; he would neither shirk nor dodge.

Before he faced Lettice, he must forget a moment—forget his fears, his hopes, his ceaseless torment of belief and doubt.


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