Definition of belief in US English:

belief

noun

  • 1An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

    ‘his belief in the value of hard work’
    ‘a belief that solitude nourishes creativity’
    • ‘Darren and Lee were resigned to the belief that their side's lead had been reduced to two points.’
    • ‘It is not true, but there are great dangers in the growing belief that it is.’
    • ‘I think I practically grew up with the belief that I will one day have children of my own.’
    • ‘A belief that international peace is the goal to which all nations should strive.’
    • ‘He expresses the belief that the world is based on a delicate harmony which must be maintained in order to keep a state of balance.’
    • ‘Many share her belief that the path to democracy lies in improving human rights.’
    • ‘The belief that any society could isolate itself from these consequences is absurd.’
    • ‘It is the human belief that more technology, and yet more, can cure all our ills which is at fault.’
    • ‘It has a reverence for nature, a belief that life energy exists in all things, both animate and inanimate.’
    • ‘We approach our technology with the belief that it will be the same, but better.’
    • ‘It is their determination to get to work, and their belief that they can get back home, rain or shine.’
    • ‘At a very early age, I have developed a belief that we all are here to contribute something.’
    • ‘But beyond the glasses, there is the belief that she is on some kind of mission.’
    • ‘We are all tied to the belief that glasses denote intelligence, while not being a guarantee of it.’
    • ‘It protects each one of us impartially, embodying the belief that all are equal.’
    • ‘The project is underpinned by a belief that all families need support at some time or another.’
    • ‘I suppose it is a belief that even if all is lost in this life, not everything is lost.’
    • ‘There is a belief that jade improves its appearance through constant contact with the skin.’
    • ‘However he too expressed the belief that both sides could now move towards restoring trust.’
    • ‘Lindsay Anderson held a passionate belief that cinema could change the world.’
    guess, speculation, surmise, fancy, notion, suspicion, presumption, assumption, theory, hypothesis, postulation, supposition
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.
      ‘we're prepared to fight for our beliefs’
      ‘contrary to popular belief, Aramaic is a living language’
      • ‘Times change and people's beliefs and outlooks on life also change.’
      • ‘Contrary to popular belief, the bird's nests are not found in the faces of cliffs but in caves.’
      • ‘Today I met someone who spent much of our encounter telling me about him - his life, his views and beliefs.’
      • ‘Human beings are worthy of the highest respect, but not all opinions and beliefs are worthy of respect and tolerance.’
      • ‘She is a portrait painter and, contrary to popular belief, this is not a dead art.’
      • ‘Don't attempt to capitalise on your mistaken belief that I do not understand this situation as well as you.’
      • ‘Contrary to all our beliefs and the stories we heard, I saw a very warm and a friendly family.’
      • ‘But powerfully and convincingly, he set out his heartfelt belief that he did what was right.’
      • ‘I have a great belief that particular things, or people, are put in front of us at particular times for a reason.’
      • ‘As a consumer, it is my belief that you should be able to investigate the background of all that you buy.’
      • ‘Contrary to popular belief, simply bringing up suicide will not put the idea in their head.’
      • ‘For example, it is the widespread belief that the victims have only themselves to blame.’
      • ‘Language can be used to distort our beliefs and opinion of an individual.’
      • ‘Worst of all, it enhances the belief that we should expect little of the poem and of poets.’
      • ‘She makes you uncomfortable because she is forever challenging you to fight for your beliefs.’
      • ‘Contrary to popular belief it is not always the thought of more money that is the main motivator.’
      • ‘Contrary to popular belief, they are actually great as part of a healthy balanced diet.’
      • ‘I do not suffer fools gladly and I have been known to be opinionated and defend my beliefs strongly.’
      • ‘Contrary to popular belief, the adverts will not feature a blaring soundtrack or other audio.’
      • ‘Explore ideas, beliefs and activities that will challenge you and take you out of your comfort zone.’
      opinion, view, viewpoint, point of view, attitude, stance, stand, standpoint, position, perspective, contention, conviction, judgement, thinking, way of thinking, thought, idea, theory, hypothesis, thesis, interpretation, assumption, presumption, supposition, surmise, postulation, conclusion, deduction, inference, notion, impression, sense, feeling, fancy, hunch
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A religious conviction.
      ‘Christian beliefs’
      ‘I'm afraid to say belief has gone’
      ‘local beliefs and customs’
      • ‘I was never one myself and shared his opinions about their beliefs and customs even at that time.’
      • ‘I wanted to learn more about the traditional core beliefs of Japanese religious life.’
      • ‘It's not that I dislike the idea of religion or being a part of one, I just dont have any religious beliefs of my own.’
      • ‘Their religious beliefs also play a big part in why the civilization was so great.’
      • ‘However, owing to religious beliefs, she refused and died two days later.’
      • ‘Ordinary common beliefs, and belief in the existence of other minds, are still excluded.’
      • ‘He was served food that his religious beliefs did not allow him to consume.’
      • ‘One can also learn more about the religious beliefs and practices of these families.’
      • ‘They give many people the freedom to be open and honest about their religious beliefs.’
      • ‘Religious belief is certainly no barrier to being part of such a project.’
      • ‘Of course his religious beliefs greatly influenced all his thinking.’
      • ‘Many of his paintings were inspired by his religious beliefs, featuring Voodoo scenes and symbols.’
      • ‘However, many of these groups also adhere to their traditional religious beliefs.’
      • ‘Religious beliefs influence too many aspects of life to be ignored.’
      • ‘The headscarf in my view is both a religious practice for some Muslims as well as being a symbol of your religious beliefs.’
      • ‘As it's quite a religious belief, many people don't believe there is an Afterlife.’
      • ‘Some think their lives here and now are affected by their religious beliefs and practices.’
      • ‘They include questions about attendance in places of worship and religious beliefs.’
      • ‘Neither do I have a problem in general with people who wish to follow religious beliefs.’
      • ‘It invoked religious beliefs not only to understand different histories but also to change it.’
      ideology, principle, ideal, ethic, conviction
      View synonyms
  • 2belief inTrust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.

    ‘a belief in democratic politics’
    ‘I've still got belief in myself’
    • ‘What the team is short of most of all is self confidence and belief in their own ability.’
    • ‘What marks out so many of these producers is their passionate belief in what they do.’
    • ‘Our opponents try to portray our belief in smaller government as not caring about those in need.’
    • ‘It is a political act and a clear expression of a belief in a different way of doing things.’
    • ‘There was a vibe in the squad that I hadn't seen, and a belief in what we were doing as a team.’
    • ‘His tireless passion and strong belief in our campaign has been an ongoing inspiration to all of us.’
    • ‘The players seem to have lost belief in themselves and only good leadership can bring it back.’
    • ‘I had lost all belief in myself, which was more upsetting given how well I had started.’
    • ‘I believe we can do it, there is a high level of motivation and a strong belief in the squad.’
    • ‘I think we need to help teenagers to have good self-esteem and a belief in themselves.’
    • ‘His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to have belief in their chosen project and to act on it quickly.’
    • ‘The numbers started going down and, with that, obviously my belief in how easy it was going to be.’
    • ‘You don't get to the top without possessing an innate belief in your own superiority.’
    • ‘She was a very strong woman who worked really hard to make sure we all had belief in ourselves.’
    • ‘In times of stress or pain many of us derive comfort from a strong and deep-rooted belief in our faith.’
    • ‘First, you need to have absolute passion and total belief in what you are trying to achieve.’
    • ‘My strength is my confidence and belief in my ability, and the manner in which I back myself.’
    • ‘He had absolute belief in himself and his methods, and wasn't afraid to say so to anybody.’
    • ‘It appealed to her belief in good management and organisation as the means to achieving targets.’
    • ‘There was a lack of belief in what could be done here, both with the pupils and staff.’
    faith, trust, reliance, confidence, credence, freedom from doubt
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • be of the belief that

    • Hold the opinion that; think.

      ‘I am firmly of the belief that we need to improve our product’
      • ‘This young graduate was of the belief that if she had to move to another location in Australia then she might as well take advantage of the opportunity to work and travel overseas.’
      • ‘This is deliberate, as I am firmly of the belief that an element of surprise is crucial to all good discos.’
      • ‘I'm of the belief that perhaps everyone involved got too close to their characters and to their mission.’
      • ‘Having suffered a few nasty experiences on hockey fields, such as being obliged to play at all, she was firmly of the belief that sport ought to be actively discouraged.’
      • ‘The prisoner was of the belief that his bail was legitimate.’
      • ‘Some people are of the belief that when it comes to the practice of magic that anything goes.’
      • ‘I am of the belief that if man were supposed to eat leaves, he would live in the forest.’
      • ‘In the meantime, we're just firmly of the belief that if someone commits a crime in this country, they should be punished by our laws.’
      • ‘I am firmly of the belief that this is the BEST ISSUE EVER and it's only the third one.’
      • ‘Some people are of the belief that if their condition is classified as a chemical imbalance they can have no personal input into their recovery.’
  • beyond belief

    • Astonishingly good or bad; incredible.

      ‘riches beyond belief’
      ‘the driving we have witnessed was beyond belief’
      • ‘We drove the six hours back on Monday evening and I was exhausted beyond belief.’
      • ‘My life has been changed beyond belief and that doesn't seem to be taken into account.’
      • ‘One I fell in love with, the other excites me beyond belief, makes me think about my life, and even talk about it.’
      • ‘The victim is quite obviously blind and for the robbers to target him in this way is beyond belief.’
      • ‘It is almost beyond belief, but it appears that exactly the same thing is happening again.’
      • ‘And the manner of almost all those defeats was so cruelly unfortunate as to be beyond belief.’
      • ‘His sudden death has shocked us beyond belief.’
      • ‘The fact that there is still no final decision on where and whether this match will take place is beyond belief.’
      • ‘Six lectures a week is not bad by today's standards, but not to have a tutor is beyond belief.’
      • ‘The vibration from the speakers and the heat from the crowd were almost beyond belief.’
      unbelievable, beyond belief, hard to believe, scarcely credible, unconvincing, far-fetched, strained, laboured, implausible, improbable, highly unlikely, not in the least likely, questionable, dubious, doubtful, inconceivable, unthinkable, unimaginable, impossible, astonishing, astounding, breathtaking, staggering, absurd, preposterous, phenomenal, extraordinary
      View synonyms
  • in the belief that

    • Thinking or believing that.

      ‘he took the property in the belief that he had consent’
      • ‘One year I volunteered to cover Christmas weekend in the belief that at least the students would be gone by then.’
      • ‘The authorities are fully prepared to play the waiting came in the belief that sooner or later they will get their man.’
      • ‘The film was made in the belief that by examining this single event something much larger can be found - the shape of our world today.’
      • ‘They will persevere; they will continue to preach the gospel in the belief that one day their faith will be rewarded.’
      • ‘It works because it's done in the belief that everyone has something to say.’
      • ‘This norm is rooted in the belief that there are no privileged sources of scientific knowledge.’
      • ‘I admire their decision to publish their accounts in the belief that their truth deserved to be heard.’
      • ‘Total strangers were hugging and kissing each other, united in the belief that 2004 was their year for glory.’
      • ‘What we are doing is putting them out of sight, deep in the forest in the belief that wild animals are resilient and will survive all odds.’
      • ‘He has very high hopes for the band and they are currently working hard in the belief that they can beat their own target of expectations.’
  • to the best of my belief

    • In my genuine opinion; as far as I know.

      ‘to the best of my belief Francis never made a will’
      • ‘And this I say of my own experience, and also from report of those who, to the best of my belief, speak truly.’
      • ‘He had had them, to the best of my belief, for forty to fifty years.’
      • ‘A. Yes, to the best of my belief it is.’
      • ‘In the present instance I am forced to admit that the facts are, to the best of my belief, unique.’
      • ‘I will therefore place on record the circumstances which, to the best of my belief, were the cause of this omission.’
      • ‘I was present when a Summary of Evidence was taken and I gave the same evidence as I have given now to the best of my belief.’

Origin

Middle English: alteration of Old English gelēafa; compare with believe.

Pronunciation

belief

/bəˈlēf//bəˈlif/