From Middle English beleven, bileven, from Old English belīefan (“to believe”), from Proto-Germanic *bilaubijanan (“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 𐌲𐌰𐌻𐌰𐌿𐌱𐌾𐌰𐌽 (galaubjan, “to hold dear, valuable, or satisfactory, approve of, believe”).
Alternative forms 
believe (third-person singular simple present believes, present participle believing, simple past and past participle believed)
- (transitive) To think something is true without having proof or empirical evidence.
- I believe there is life after death.
- I believe in faeries
- (transitive) To accept that someone is telling the truth.
- Why did I ever believe you?
- (transitive) To accept as true.
- If you believe the numbers, you'll agree we need change.
- (intransitive) To have religious faith; to believe in a greater truth.
- After that night in the church, I believed.
- (transitive) To consider likely.
- I believe it might rain tomorrow.(This definition is the same as "to accept as true", but for a likely event "might rain tomorrow").
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 hold confidence and trust in that person or concept: believe in liberty, believe in God. To “believe in one's fellow man” means to place trust and confidence in mankind.
- Meanings sometimes overlap. To believe in a religious text would also require affirming the truth of at least the major tenets. To believe a religious text might likewise imply placing one's confidence and trust in it, in addition to accepting its statements as facts.
- 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...
Derived terms 
Related terms 
to accept that someone is telling the truth (object: person)
- Latgalian: ticēt, īticēt
- Latin: crēdō (la)
- Latvian: ticēt (lv)
- Lithuanian: tikėti (lt)
- Luxembourgish: gleewen (lb)
- Macedonian: верува (mk) (véruva)
- Malay: percaya (ms)
- Mongolian: итгэх (mn) (itgeh)
- Norwegian: tro (no)
- Occitan: creire (oc), créder (oc), créser (oc)
- Persian: باور کردن (fa) (bâvar kardan)
- Polish: wierzyć (pl)
- Portuguese: acreditar (pt), crer (pt)
- Punjabi: please add this translation if you can
- Quechua: iñiy (qu)
- Romanian: crede (ro)
- Romansch: crair (rm), crer (rm), creir (rm), crajer (rm)
- Russian: верить (ru) (véritʹ) impf., поверить (ru) (povéritʹ) pf.
- Sardinian: crèdere (sc), crèere (sc), crei (sc), crèiri (sc), crere (sc)
- Cyrillic: веровати (sh), вјеровати (sh)
- Roman: verovati (sh), vjerovati (sh)
- Sicilian: crìdiri (scn)
- Slovak: veriť (sk)
- Slovene: verjeti (sl)
- Spanish: creer (es)
- Swedish: tro (sv)
- Tajik: бовар кардан (tg) (bovar kardan)
- Tamil: please add this translation if you can
- Tatar: инанырга (tt) (inanırğa)
- Telugu: please add this translation if you can
- Thai: เชื่อ (th) (chêua)
- Turkish: inanmak (tr)
- Turkmen: ynanmak (tk)
- Ukrainian: вірити (uk) (víryty)
- Urdu: ماننا (ur) (mānnā)
- Uzbek: ishonmoq (uz)
- Vietnamese: tin (vi), tin tưởng (vi)
- Walloon: croere (wa)
- Welsh: credu (cy)
- West Frisian: liuwe (fy)
- Yiddish: please add this translation if you can
to have religious faith; to believe in a greater truth
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked
- singular present subjunctive of believen