AskDefine | Define believe

Dictionary Definition



1 accept as true; take to be true; "I believed his report"; "We didn't believe his stories from the War"; "She believes in spirits" [ant: disbelieve]
2 judge or regard; look upon; judge; "I think he is very smart"; "I believe her to be very smart"; "I think that he is her boyfriend"; "The racist conceives such people to be inferior" [syn: think, consider, conceive]
3 be confident about something; "I believe that he will come back from the war" [syn: trust]
4 follow a credo; have a faith; be a believer; "When you hear his sermons, you will be able to believe, too"
5 credit with veracity; "You cannot believe this man"; "Should we believe a publication like the National Inquirer?"

User Contributed Dictionary



From be-/ge- + a short form of gelyfan, (leafa).


  • (UK & US) /bɪˈliːv/, /bəˈliːv/, /bI"li:v/, /b@"li:v/
  • Hyphenation: be·lieve


  1. To accept that someone is telling the truth.
    • Why did I ever believe you?
  2. To accept as true.
    • If you believe the numbers, you'll agree we need change.
  3. To consider likely.
    • I believe it might rain tomorrow.
  4. To have religious faith; to believe in a greater truth.
    • After that night in the church, I believed.

Usage notes

  • The transitive verb believe and the phrasal verb believe in are similar but can have very different implications.
    • To “believe” someone or something means to accept specific pieces of information as truth: believe the news, believe the lead witness. To “believe a complete stranger” means to accept a stranger's story with little evidence.
    • To “believe in” someone or something means to place faith in that person or concept: believe in liberty, believe in God. To “believe in one's fellow man” means to place faith in mankind.
  • Meanings sometimes overlap. To believe in a religious text would also require affirming at least the major principles. To believe a religious text would likewise imply placing one's faith in it.


  • 1611 — King James Version of the Bible, Luke 1:1
    Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us...

Related terms


to accept that someone is telling the truth (object: person)
  • Afrikaans: glo
  • Czech: věřit
  • Dutch: geloven
  • French: croire
  • German: glauben
  • Irish: creid
  • Latin: credo
  • Russian: верить
to accept as true
  • Afrikaans: glo
  • Dutch: geloven
  • French: croire
  • German: glauben
  • Irish: creid
  • Latin: credo
to consider likely
to have religious faith; to believe in a greater truth
  • Dutch: geloven in
  • German: glauben
  • Irish: creid

Extensive Definition

Believe, or related terms, may refer to:
  • Belief, a conviction or certainty, often regarding God or a supreme being

Film and television




Other uses

believe in Estonian: Believe
believe in Spanish: Believe
believe in Italian: Believe
believe in Polish: Believe
believe in Portuguese: Believe
believe in Russian: Believe
believe in Turkish: Believe

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accept, accept for gospel, accept implicitly, accredit, admit, allow, assume, be afraid, be certain, be pious, be religious, believe in, believe without reservation, buy, conceive, conclude, confide in, conjecture, consider, credit, daresay, deduce, deem, divine, dream, expect, fancy, fear God, feel, gather, give faith to, grant, have confidence in, have faith, have faith in, hold, hope in, imagine, infer, keep the faith, let, let be, love God, maintain, make believe, opine, place confidence in, place reliance in, prefigure, presume, presuppose, presurmise, pretend, provisionally accept, put faith in, put trust in, receive, reckon, rely on, rely upon, repose confidence in, repose in, repute, rest in, say, sense, set store by, suppose, surmise, suspect, swallow, swear by, take, take for, take for granted, take it, take on faith, take on trust, take stock in, take to be, think, trust, trust in, trust in God, trust to, understand
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