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From Middle English unbilefe, unbileve, equivalent to un- +‎ belief.



unbelief (usually uncountable, plural unbeliefs)

  1. An absence (or rejection) of belief, especially religious belief
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Mark VI:
      And he coulde there shewe no myracles butt leyd his hondes apon a feawe sicke foolke and healed them. And he merveyled at their unbelefe.
    • 1931, William Faulkner, Sanctuary, Vintage 1993, p. 35:
      On hands and knees he looked at the empty siding and up at the sunfilled sky with unbelief and despair.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 781:
      Soon Spinoza was regarded as the standard-bearer for unbelief, even though pervading his carefully-worded writings there is a clear notion of a divine spirit inhabiting the world, and a profound sense of wonder and reverence for mystery.


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