- 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 believerdevotee, adherent, disciple, follower, zealot, supporter, convert, freak, proselyte, apostle, prophet, doctrinaire, religionist, canonist, upholder, dogmatist, acceptor, orthodox
Examples from the Web for believer
Contemporary Examples of believer
The next day, Christmas, is the birthday of the savior, but Frank is not a believer.Richard Ford’s Artful Survivalist Guide: The Return of Frank Bascombe
November 4, 2014
She was more of a spiritualist, a New Age believer in the power of good and the mysteries of the universe.The Day the Fairytale Died
July 12, 2014
Yet for a pious Muslim believer, the experience of those states was bad to the point of being catastrophic.Why the Caliphate Will Devour Its Children
July 11, 2014
One need not be a believer, as I am, to know that Maya Angelou will so fully live on.Maya Angelou Knew How To Inspire As A Writer, Teacher, and Great Human Being
May 28, 2014
The pseudonym he used in Ukraine, Verin, came from the word “believer.”Putin’s Men in Ukraine: We’re Not Giving In
April 18, 2014
Historical Examples of believer
Miss Charnick wuz a believer, but not to the extent that Joe was.Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 4.
Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)
The believer and the Church must be entirely freed from the spirit of the world.The Ministry of Intercession
I am no believer in occultism, but there are premonitions which one cannot deny.
What did Sa̤ul do at once when he became a believer in Chrīst?Hurlbut's Bible Lessons
Rev. Jesse Lyman Hurlbut
But if he is not a believer in liberty, still less is he a lover of tyranny.The Republic
- (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
"one who has faith in religion," 1540s, agent noun from 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.