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 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:
( ве́рува 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:
ве́рить (ru) ( impf véritʹ), пове́рить (ru) ( pf povéritʹ) Sardinian:
, crèdere , crèere , crei , crèiri crere Serbo-Croatian:
, веровати вјеровати Roman:
, verovati vjerovati (sh) Sicilian:
crìdiri , (scn) crìriri (scn) Slovak:
verjeti (sl) Spanish:
creer (es) Sundanese:
tro (sv) Tajik:
( бовар кардан bovar kardan) Tamil:
please add this translation if you can Tatar:
( инанырга inanırga) Telugu:
నమ్ము ( (te) nammu ) Thai:
เชื่อ ( (th) chêua) Turkish:
inanmak (tr) Turkmen:
( ві́рити víryty) Urdu:
( ماننا mānnā) Uzbek:
ishonmoq (uz) Venetian:
, crédar créder 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 ]