View synonyms for believe


[ bih-leev ]

verb (used without object)

, be·lieved, be·liev·ing.
  1. 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.

verb (used with object)

, be·lieved, be·liev·ing.
  1. to have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story, etc.); give credence to.
  2. to have confidence in the assertions of (a person).
  3. 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.

  4. to suppose or assume; understand (usually followed by a noun clause):

    I believe that he has left town.

verb phrase

    1. to be persuaded of the truth or existence of:

      to believe in Zoroastrianism; to believe in ghosts.

    2. to have faith in the reliability, honesty, benevolence, etc., of:

      I can help only if you believe in me.


/ bɪˈliːv /


  1. tr; may take a clause as object to accept (a statement, supposition, or opinion) as true

    I believe God exists

  2. tr to accept the statement or opinion of (a person) as true
  3. intrfoll byin to be convinced of the truth or existence (of)

    to believe in fairies

  4. intr to have religious faith
  5. when tr, takes a clause as object to think, assume, or suppose

    I believe that he has left already

  6. 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

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • beˈlievable, adjective
  • beˈlievably, adverb
  • beˈlieving, nounadjective
  • beˈliever, noun
  • beˈlievaˌbility, noun

Discover More

Other Words From

  • be·liev·a·bil·i·ty [bih-leev-, uh, -, bil, -i-tee], be·liev·a·ble·ness noun
  • be·liev·a·ble adjective
  • be·liev·a·bly adverb
  • be·liev·er noun
  • be·liev·ing·ly adverb
  • half-be·lieved adjective
  • half-be·liev·ing adjective
  • pre·be·lieve verb prebelieved prebelieving
  • su·per·be·liev·a·ble adjective
  • su·per·be·liev·a·ble·ness noun
  • su·per·be·liev·a·bly adverb
  • well-be·lieved adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of believe1

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English bileven, equivalent to bi- be- + leven, Old English (Anglian) gelēfan (cognate with Dutch gelooven, German glauben, Gothic galaubjan )

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of believe1

Old English beliefan

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

  1. make believe. make 1( def 68 ).

More idioms and phrases containing believe

  • lead one to believe
  • make believe
  • you'd better believe it
  • seeing is believing

Discover More

Example Sentences

The thing that I believe I got the advantage is the teammates because he left the team, and all the teammates that helped me get prepared for him know him very well.

We listened to people, and there are a lot of people who tried to stand up for what they believed in and weren’t really heard.

Those who want to wrap themselves in the flag and believe the song conveys what it means to be an American — “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave” — can absolutely believe that.

Those squads are often hailed as reason to believe there is another way, but you’re talking about four exceptional teams over three decades.

To know that I would be waiting for 450 days or something like that, I wouldn’t believe it one bit, but here we are.

People watch night soaps because the genre allows them to believe in a world where people just react off their baser instincts.

The death toll, which experts believe has been significantly undercut by secret burials, stands at 7,905.

Three quarters of those people believe the end of the world is nigh.

I believe in the power of institutions—Congress, public policy, certain ideas about politics—that last for a long time.

What they believe impacts economic policy, foreign policy, education policy, environmental policy, you name it.

He did believe you, more or less, and what you said fell in with his own impressions—strange impressions that they were, poor man!

I believe that these are ideal characters constructed from still more ancient legends and traditions.

"I verily believe they're gone to look at my button," cried Davy, beginning to laugh, in spite of his fears.

I cannot believe that God would think it necessary to come on earth as a man, and die on the Cross.

I cannot believe that a good God would create or tolerate a Devil, nor that he would allow the Devil to tempt man.


Discover More

How Do You Spell Believe?

Spelling tips for believe

The word believe is hard to spell for two reasons. First, because it can be hard to remember the order of the i and e. Sometimes people want to spell it beleive, which is incorrect. Second, because it is pronounced [ bih-leev ], which makes you think there may be a second i in the word, as in bilieve

How to spell believe: The easiest way to remember how to spell believe is with the classic mnemonic device: “I before E, except after C.” Believ[ing] is an important part of “being alive”, which reminds you that the first syllable is be, not bi.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




beliesbelieve it or not