Believe Definition

believed, believes, believing
believed, believes, believing
To accept as true or real.
Do you believe the news stories?
American Heritage
To take as true, real, etc.
Webster's New World
To have trust or confidence (in) as being true, real, good, etc.
Webster's New World
To credit with veracity.
I believe you.
American Heritage
To have confidence in a statement or promise of (another person)
Webster's New World
believe (one's) ears
  • To trust what one has heard.
American Heritage
believe (one's) eyes
  • To trust what one has seen.
American Heritage

Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Believe

Origin of Believe

  • From Middle English beleven, bileven, from Old English belīefan (“to believe”), from Proto-Germanic *bilaubijaną (“to believe”), equivalent to be- +‎ leave (“to allow, permit”). Cognate with Scots beleve (“to believe”). Compare Old English ġelīefan (“to be dear to; believe, trust”), Old English ġelēafa (“belief, faith, confidence, trust”), Old English lēof ("dear, valued, beloved, pleasant, agreeable"; > English lief). Related also to North Frisian leauwjen (“to believe”), West Frisian leauwe (“to believe”), Dutch geloven (“to believe”), German glauben (“to believe”), Gothic (galaubjan, “to hold dear, valuable, or satisfactory, approve of, believe”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English bileven from Old English belȳfan, belēfan, gelēfan leubh- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition


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