- 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
Related Words for believablecredible, satisfying, persuasive, convincing, plausible, reasonable, conceivable, authentic, aboveboard, acceptable, creditable, fiduciary, honest-to-God, imaginable, impressive, likely, possible, presumable, presumptive, probable
Examples from the Web for believable
Contemporary Examples of believable
That explanation is believable…but increasingly less so when you hear Jay talk about the nature of his relationship with Adnan.The Deal With Serial’s Jay? He’s Pissed Off, Mucks Up Our Timeline
December 31, 2014
No one could agree on which side they felt was more truthful or believable, and the answers kept changing.Why You’re Happily Married and Having an Affair
November 2, 2014
The first thing when you read something like this is, “OK, how can I make this believable, interesting, and real?”The Good Wife’s Secret Weapon: Matt Czuchry on Cary Agos’s Terrible, Horrible Year
October 27, 2014
“The government witnesses were not believable,” a juror said afterward.The Killer Klansman’s Missing Years as a Federal Informant
April 15, 2014
The awkward, PSA-worthy interaction comes across as a consent role-play, rather than a believable, exciting first kiss.Sex Won’t Kill Young Adult Heroines: ‘Divergent’ and Rape Culture
March 28, 2014
Historical Examples of believable
For a moment he was back in a famous clinic, and this man across from him—it was not believable!K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
We had gold and silver in our track, like the believable children of fairyland.The Adventures of Harry Richmond, Complete
It was just as it had been that night—just as commonly uncommon and believable.T. Tembarom
Frances Hodgson Burnett
It seemed too preposterous to be believable; and she was very suspicious of him.The White Blackbird
He did not invent the development theory, but he made it believable and comprehensible.Charles Darwin
- (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 for believe
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.
In addition to the idioms beginning with believe
- believe it or not
- believe one's ears
- lead one to believe
- make believe
- you'd better believe it
Also seeseeing is believing.