Belief



something believed; an opinion or conviction:
a belief that the earth is flat.
confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof:
a statement unworthy of belief.
confidence; faith; trust:
a child’s belief in his parents.
a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith:
the Christian belief.
Contemporary Examples

They were also completely naïve in their belief in the power of innovation.
J.P. Morgan’s Tribal Warriors Mars Van Grunsven August 7, 2009

The result was hubris, a belief that Israel could do whatever it wanted, and still win the political debate in the United States.
Why Israel Is Isolated Peter Beinart June 6, 2010

But my mother had belief in God and was determined to raise her kids and make the best of every situation.
Chuck Norris’s 10 Favorite Things About America Chuck Norris August 13, 2012

As in any other area of law, though, such a belief is not inconsistent with a belief that people may be unjustly accused.
Is It Wrong for Parents to Lock Up Their Disabled Kids? Elizabeth Picciuto August 3, 2014

He risked everything—faith, family, friends, girlfriend, college scholarship, respect—by stepping out of Mormon belief.
A Brigham Young University Professor’s Escape from Mormonism Lynn K. Wilder October 19, 2013

Historical Examples

For two years he seems to have held the belief that Miss Sullivan and I were innocent.
Story of My Life Helen Keller

They laid Paralus upon a couch, with the belief that he slept to wake no more.
Philothea Lydia Maria Child

As he passed, within a couple of feet of where I was concealed, I was able to confirm my belief.
The Place of Dragons William Le Queux

So we voice our hope and our belief that we can help to heal this divided world.
United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches Various

The belief is a conjecture, and we must die to prove or disprove it.
Flowers of Freethought George W. Foote

noun
a principle, proposition, idea, etc, accepted as true
opinion; conviction
religious faith
trust or confidence, as in a person or a person’s abilities, probity, etc
n.

late 12c., bileave, replacing Old English geleafa “belief, faith,” from West Germanic *ga-laubon “to hold dear, esteem, trust” (cf. Old Saxon gilobo, Middle Dutch gelove, Old High German giloubo, German Glaube), from *galaub- “dear, esteemed,” from intensive prefix *ga- + *leubh- “to care, desire, like, love” (see love (v.)). The prefix was altered on analogy of the verb believe. The distinction of the final consonant from that of believe developed 15c.

“The be-, which is not a natural prefix of nouns, was prefixed on the analogy of the vb. (where it is naturally an intensive) …. [OED]

Belief used to mean “trust in God,” while faith meant “loyalty to a person based on promise or duty” (a sense preserved in keep one’s faith, in good (or bad) faith and in common usage of faithful, faithless, which contain no notion of divinity). But faith, as cognate of Latin fides, took on the religious sense beginning in 14c. translations, and belief had by 16c. become limited to “mental acceptance of something as true,” from the religious use in the sense of “things held to be true as a matter of religious doctrine” (a sense attested from early 13c.).

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    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 […]

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    to regard or portray as less impressive or important than appearances indicate; depreciate; disparage. Contemporary Examples I ask Cupp if she thinks news editors start their meetings by asking, “How can we belittle Christianity today?” The Right’s Favorite Atheist Benyamin Cohen June 12, 2010 Hand it off to a hen-pecked husband or a put-upon assistant […]



  • Belong

    to be in the relation of a member, adherent, inhabitant, etc. (usually followed by to): He belongs to the Knights of Columbus. to have the proper qualifications, especially social qualifications, to be a member of a group: You don’t belong in this club. to be proper or due; be properly or appropriately placed, situated, etc.: […]

  • Belonging

    something that belongs. belongings, possessions; goods; personal effects. to be in the relation of a member, adherent, inhabitant, etc. (usually followed by to): He belongs to the Knights of Columbus. to have the proper qualifications, especially social qualifications, to be a member of a group: You don’t belong in this club. to be proper or […]



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