English [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
Middle English , beleven , from bileven Old English ( belīefan “ to believe ”), from Proto-Germanic ( *bilaubijaną “ to believe ”). 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 [ edit ]
Pronunciation [ edit ]
believe ( third-person singular simple present , believes present participle , believing simple past and past participle ) believed
( transitive ) To accept as true, particularly without absolute certainty (i.e., as opposed to knowing)
If you believe the numbers, you'll agree we need change.
I believe there are faeries.
(Here, the speaker merely accepts the accuracy of the conditional.) I believe it might rain tomorrow.
1611, King James Version of the Bible, :
Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely
believed among us [… ]
: 2014 June 21, “ Magician’s brain”, , volume 411, number 8892 The Economist
[Isaac Newton] was obsessed with alchemy. He spent hours copying alchemical recipes and trying to replicate them in his laboratory. He believed that the Bible contained numerological codes.
( transitive ) To accept that someone is telling the truth.
Why did I ever believe you?
( intransitive ) To have religious faith; to believe in a greater truth.
After that night in the church, I believed.
Usage notes [ edit ]
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.
Derived terms [ edit ]
Terms derived from
Related terms [ edit ]
Terms etymologically related to
Translations [ edit ]
to accept that someone is telling the truth (object: person)
, ticēt īticēt Latin:
crēdō (la) Latvian:
ticēt (lv) Lithuanian:
tikėti (lt) Luxembourgish:
( верува véruva) Malay:
( итгэх 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 , crer , creir crajer Russian:
верить (ru) ( impf véritʹ), поверить (ru) ( pf povéritʹ) Sardinian:
, crèdere , crèere , crei , crèiri crere Serbo-Croatian:
, веровати вјеровати Roman:
, verovati vjerovati (sh) Sicilian:
crìdiri (scn) Slovak:
verjeti (sl) Spanish:
creer (es) Swedish:
tro (sv) Tajik:
( бовар кардан bovar kardan) Tamil:
please add this translation if you can Tatar:
( инанырга inanırga) Telugu:
please add this translation if you can Thai:
เชื่อ ( (th) chêua) Turkish:
inanmak (tr) Turkmen:
( вірити víryty) Urdu:
( ماننا mānnā) Uzbek:
ishonmoq (uz) Vietnamese:
tin , (vi) tin tưởng (vi) Walloon:
croere (wa) Welsh:
credu (cy) West Frisian:
please add this translation if you can
to have religious faith; to believe in a greater truth
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Translations to be checked
Statistics [ edit ]
Pronunciation [ edit ]
( archaic ) singular present subjunctive of believen
Anagrams [ edit ]