[ bih-leef ]
See synonyms for: beliefbeliefs on

  1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.

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

  1. confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.

  2. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.

Origin of belief

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

synonym study For belief

2. 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.

Other words for belief

Other words from belief

  • pre·be·lief, noun
  • su·per·be·lief, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use belief in a sentence

  • There he might yet live among men of his own race and degree, and of congenial beliefs and occupations.

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
  • "I mean that most men hold so strongly to life, and can give up so little for their beliefs," he said gravely.

    Three More John Silence Stories | Algernon Blackwood
  • The truth is, in giving up the idea of guardian angels and similar beliefs we have given up some of the greatest comforts in life.

    The Everlasting Arms | Joseph Hocking
  • It is filled throughout with legends relating to the Devil, and with superstitious beliefs of the Middle Age.

    Frdric Mistral | Charles Alfred Downer
  • Mistral's poetic ideas have been largely suggested to him by popular beliefs and the stories he heard at his fireside when a boy.

    Frdric Mistral | Charles Alfred Downer

British Dictionary definitions for belief


/ (bɪˈliːf) /

  1. a principle, proposition, idea, etc, accepted as true

  2. opinion; conviction

  1. religious faith

  2. trust or confidence, as in a person or a person's abilities, probity, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012