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From Middle English bileve, from Old English lēafa, from Proto-Germanic *laubô. Compare German Glaube (“faith, belief”).
The replacement of final /v/ with /f/ is due to the analogy of noun-verb pairs with /f/ in the noun but /v/ in the verb, creating a pair belief : believe on the model of e.g. grief : grieve or proof : prove.
belief (countable and uncountable, plural beliefs)
- Mental acceptance of a claim as true.
- It's my belief that the thief is somebody known to us.
- 2013 December 6, George Monbiot, “Why I'm eating my words on veganism – again”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 26, page 48:
- The belief that there is no conflict between [livestock] farming and arable production also seems to be unfounded: by preventing the growth of trees and other deep vegetation in the hills and by compacting the soil, grazing animals cause a cycle of flash floods and drought, sporadically drowning good land downstream and reducing the supply of irrigation water.
- Faith or trust in the reality of something; often based upon one's own reasoning, trust in a claim, desire of actuality, and/or evidence considered.
- My belief is that there is a bear in the woods. Bill said he saw one.
- Based on this data, it is our belief that X does not occur.
- (countable) Something believed.
- The ancient people have a belief in many deities.
- (uncountable) The quality or state of believing.
- My belief that it will rain tomorrow is strong.
- (uncountable) Religious faith.
- She often said it was her belief that carried her through the hard times.
- (in the plural) One's religious or moral convictions.
- I can't do that. It's against my beliefs.
mental acceptance of a claim as truth
the quality or state of believing
religious or moral convictions
a wishing of case or circumstance to be true
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
- English terms inherited from Middle English
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- English terms derived from Proto-Germanic
- English 2-syllable words
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- Rhymes:English/iːf/2 syllables
- English lemmas
- English nouns
- English uncountable nouns
- English countable nouns
- English terms with usage examples
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- German terms with IPA pronunciation
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