Definition of trust in US English:



  • 1Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

    ‘relations have to be built on trust’
    ‘they have been able to win the trust of the others’
    • ‘She had thought that he had betrayed her trust, her faith, and her love for one of her oldest enemies.’
    • ‘Our relationships here are based on trust and belief in shared principles.’
    • ‘If the call to faith is to be liberating, faith must be understood as trust rather than as belief.’
    • ‘As an actor, you don't know how the film will look on completion so it was excellent for him to have a great deal of trust in our abilities.’
    • ‘I am staying strong within my faith, trust and beliefs as I grow spiritually.’
    • ‘One theorist defines trust as a belief in the goodness of others.’
    • ‘By your historically unprecedented disloyalty, you have betrayed our trust.’
    • ‘Their clients, who had placed their trust in the firm, not to mention their money, also lost considerable sums.’
    • ‘It is a gentle and firm participation with trust.’
    • ‘She nodded slowly, her eyes not leaving his, needing his trust and belief in her.’
    • ‘It's about belief, trust, sacrifices made and quality of life, though I can't prove this to you.’
    • ‘However, comprehending the need to adopt a different approach, efforts have been launched to win back their trust.’
    • ‘Client belief and trust in the therapist was considered to be about equal from both perspectives.’
    • ‘There is probably nothing worse than the betrayal of trust and belief.’
    • ‘Only a government which always speaks the truth is able to win people's trust.’
    • ‘However, it had a firm foundation of trust on which to build, as recent surveys had shown that most people trusted their GP or nurse.’
    • ‘Over half of the companies surveyed gave values of quality, trust, reliability and integrity.’
    • ‘This means full dependence on our service reliability and total trust in our product supply.’
    • ‘Although recent events may have combined to erode this trust and our belief in its abilities, we must strive to recall how effective a therapeutic tool it once was.’
    • ‘Culture brings us together, usually at a very small scale through mutual belief, trust and common interest.’
    confidence, belief, faith, freedom from doubt, freedom from suspicion, sureness, certainty, certitude, assurance, conviction, credence, reliance
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation.
      ‘I used only primary sources, taking nothing on trust’
      • ‘As well, the heart of his case was that much of the evidence needed to be accepted on trust.’
      • ‘There's life in Munster yet, even if we are taking it more on trust than on hard evidence.’
      • ‘Secondly, to be completely autonomous is to not take any statement on trust or recognize authority.’
      • ‘Actions are sudden and impromptu and the motive sometimes so inexplicable that we simply have to accept them on trust.’
    2. 1.2 The state of being responsible for someone or something.
      ‘a man in a position of trust’
      • ‘Once again a person in a position of trust has abused her position for personal gratification with absolutely no thought for the consequences.’
      • ‘He admitted using his position of trust in the Agricultural community to make false claims for a dairy hygiene improvement scheme.’
      • ‘I was devastated - I had held positions of trust before my retirement.’
      • ‘In banking you operate in a position of trust and you must put your customer's interests ahead of your own.’
      • ‘The offences were a ‘gross abuse’ of his position of trust on the three women, who were all seriously ill at the time.’
      • ‘Vetting is carried out on all personnel who apply for positions of trust, including working with children and vulnerable adults.’
      • ‘Nurses have the potential to develop relationships with patients that put them in a position of trust.’
      • ‘I had put the person in a position of trust, and that person had lied about it to me.’
      • ‘Many of them are in high-profile positions of responsibility and trust in the areas of computer security and law enforcement.’
      • ‘I have a really difficult time with teachers and people in positions of authority, trust and responsibility.’
      • ‘These are serious offences bearing in mind the position of trust and responsibility in which a teacher is placed.’
      • ‘To the contrary, this is conduct unbecoming any attorney or legal adviser working in a position of trust.’
      • ‘But they said it was completely unacceptable behaviour after being put in a position of trust.’
      • ‘She says it's looked upon even more seriously in a legal sense when it occurs within a position of trust, for example, between a coach and an athlete.’
      • ‘He did not seek to rationalise, justify, or otherwise try to hold on to his appointed position of trust.’
      • ‘He said the defendants had exploited in an unlawful manner information they obtained while in a position of trust in his employment.’
      • ‘As a student body, we must keep our leaders, people in positions of public trust, accountable for their actions and inactions.’
      • ‘It was explained that as a policeman I held a position of trust.’
      • ‘Surely they have positions of trust in respect of their students - indeed, of society in general?’
      • ‘To do such a thing, and in such mind-boggling numbers, when in a position of absolute trust hits at the very core of what we hold dear.’
      responsibility, duty, obligation
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3literary A person or duty for which one has responsibility.
      ‘rulership is a trust from God’
      • ‘The sensitivity of the sultan concerning the welfare of his subjects was founded on the Islamic concept that "the subjects of a ruler are a trust of God."’
      • ‘They give generously to others, saying that whatever they have is a trust from above.’
      • ‘The shogun receives authority over the people of Japan as a trust from heaven.’
      • ‘If you believe this place, this planet, is a trust of God, what will you make of it?’
  • 2Law
    An arrangement whereby a person (a trustee) holds property as its nominal owner for the good of one or more beneficiaries.

    ‘a trust was set up’
    ‘the property is to be held in trust for his son’
    • ‘Council currently has around 13 per cent of its funds in shares, bonds and property trusts.’
    • ‘If the property is held in trust and a person has a beneficial interest in it, I suppose that person can sell that beneficial interest.’
    • ‘He settles that property on trusts which give his wife an initial interest in possession for her life or 3 months whichever is the shorter.’
    • ‘The third mortgagee may retain the proceeds of sale now held in trust until after costs have been dealt with.’
    • ‘Her evidence is vague in this regard, but the details will be worked out after the home is sold and the proceeds to be held in trust are dealt with.’
    safe keeping, keeping, protection, charge, care, custody
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A body of trustees.
      • ‘Private real estate trusts and partnerships may be smart plays for the long term’
      • ‘This has worked elsewhere, especially with civic trusts and other well organised groups.’
      • ‘In addition to IBCs, there are limited partnerships and trusts, all of which are exempt from taxation.’
      • ‘‘For a recommendation to be implemented, it has to be supported by a trust or other body with influence,’ he said.’
    2. 2.2 An organization or company managed by trustees.
      ‘a charitable trust’
      in names ‘the National Trust for Historic Preservation’
      • ‘A limited company formed by a charitable trust founded by a consortium of scientists and growers which has been renting the site is now close to clinching a deal to buy it.’
      • ‘Beginning in late 1921, state and municipal authorities began to organize manufacturing and retailing trusts.’
      • ‘They also propose creating unified health and social work budgets to be managed by community health trusts.’
      • ‘The family now uses more than 100 trusts, including numerous charitable trusts, to manage its money.’
      • ‘The trust is a unique organisation that provides a vital service in the community to families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.’
  • 3US dated A large company that has or attempts to gain monopolistic control of a market.

    • ‘Did anyone involved in either managing or marketing the trusts collude in a way that impacted on share prices and could be construed as market abuse?’
    • ‘Many trusts now enter the market to buy their own shares and support the price if their value drops by more than 10% under the NAV.’
    • ‘The organisation has asked for our help in cracking down on abusive corporations, abusive trusts and tax shelters.’
    • ‘He would himself use the language of Progressive era reform rhetoric to mold Storrow and those who supported him as men of money, monopolies and trusts.’
    • ‘At the turn of the century, there was increased public concern regarding potential market abuses by large corporate trusts.’
  • 4West Indian archaic Commercial credit.

    ‘my master lived on trust at an alehouse’
    • ‘Of course, reliance on credit and trust posed its dangers, exposing the economy to financial collapse as in 1847 and 1866.’
    • ‘The Officer called his supervisor who told him to leave until they could determine whether Mr. Bess lived on trust or fee land.’
    • ‘Gary lived on trust and by sharing both muscle and skills, not money, although he had a master's degree in business.’
  • 5archaic A hope or expectation.

    ‘all the great trusts of womanhood’
    • ‘The profound responsibility of parenthood, the devout sacrifices of wedlock, the simple trusts of childhood, demand that the inviolable sanctities of marriage shall be kept scrupulously pure.’
    • ‘Women were the 'conscience of the world', social reform concerned women because it touched on all the great trusts of womanhood, the sanctity of the family, the purity of marriage, the sweet innocence of children.’
    • ‘The needs and tasks and trusts of manhood would be sheltered in reflexive habits throughout his life, performed when necessary, so that he might go about the work of his life... seeing the world as a child.’


[with object]
  • 1Believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of.

    ‘I should never have trusted her’
    with object and infinitive ‘he can be trusted to carry out an impartial investigation’
    • ‘We've entered a new world of politics now, where no one can be trusted and the truth doesn't matter.’
    • ‘I spoke to one of his closest and most trusted advisers some 36 hours before the presidential vote, and he was a mass of nerves and frenzy.’
    • ‘Many people said they trusted their adviser and would be happy to recommend him or her to a friend.’
    • ‘In fact, I believe he trusts you more than he's ever trusted anyone.’
    • ‘The hard truth is that we cannot trust our own abilities to bring about the kind of faith that transforms our lives.’
    • ‘What you must understand without any question or doubt is that I believe this and I trust him, and you must, too.’
    • ‘She knew he was telling the truth - and she trusted him because he never gave her trouble where homework was concerned.’
    • ‘However, I think that he trusted me in my abilities just as I trusted his.’
    • ‘They had all lost the ability to trust anyone besides themselves.’
    • ‘Everyone turned to see who had spoken, and there in the corner stood an elderly courtier, one of the king's most trusted advisers.’
    • ‘I would hate to go through all of that again and at this point, just don't believe I could trust medical professionals enough to try.’
    • ‘But magistrates heard he was now willing to accept what had happened as he trusts the victim and believes what she says is true.’
    • ‘A personal recommendation is a good place to start, as you need to feel you can trust an adviser.’
    • ‘You might need help from those trusted advisers in the weeks up ahead.’
    • ‘I think you've just got to trust your ability and step it up to the next level.’
    • ‘In order to do that one needs the ability to trust others, to know how to communicate, to freely discuss and also how to adapt to others and to new situations.’
    • ‘Indeed, one cannot trust another deeply without believing that the interaction between them will be carried on at a high level of honesty.’
    • ‘Friends try to tell me otherwise, but if you knew my friends, you'd recognize them as the sort not to be trusted with the truth.’
    • ‘If you lose faith in your ability and stop trusting those people then it becomes difficult.’
    • ‘Language can convey so much and I think it's really important that we learn to trust the ability of language to communicate ideas.’
    have faith in, place one's trust in, put one's trust in, have confidence in, have every confidence in, believe in, pin one's faith on, pin one's hopes on
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1trust someone with Allow someone to have, use, or look after (someone or something of importance or value) with confidence.
      ‘I'd trust you with my life’
      • ‘Irrespective of their political affiliations, the lawmakers should faithfully carry out their duties the people trusted them with.’
      • ‘He trusted Rourke with his own life and the safety of the ship; there was no question of the man's capability, but the wild look in those eyes was something unearthly.’
      • ‘Her past was gone and over with, and even though she trusted Eden with her life, there was nothing he could do to change what had happened to her when she was younger.’
      • ‘Babette trusts Penny with a long held secret.’
      • ‘I trust Thomas with this company more than anyone.’
      • ‘Ten minutes ago he would have trusted Jim with his life, but right now, right then, he was scared.’
      • ‘He would be trusting Damian with the well-being of his sole sister, the life of his twin.’
      • ‘More importantly, do you trust him with your most private information?’
      • ‘The sort of job it is, means you're the person that whenever you go out to the farmer, he is putting all his confidence in you, trusting you with his livelihood.’
      • ‘The King trusted Neville with his life, for he was his most loyal of England's grand court and they knew each other from childhood.’
      • ‘But prosecutors are not perfectly wise, and it is folly to trust them with so much power.’
      • ‘I believed every word he said… I trusted Blade with my heart and soul.’
      • ‘Despite what had happened, he knew he could have trusted Jessie with the details of the problem, without having her discover them for herself in the books.’
      • ‘Parents trusted her with their sons and daughters.’
      • ‘In that stillness, the vastness of the energy touched deep seeds of consciousness in them as they trusted me with their confidences and secrets.’
      • ‘It is doubtful that he trusted Jude with the key to the post office box.’
      • ‘She trusted Mitch with her life, and they spent many hours together, both happy and sad.’
      • ‘She had trusted Thomas with her heart, and also secretly loved him.’
      • ‘I trusted John with my daughter and I was very angry when I found out.’
      • ‘People trusted him with their most confidential matters and valued his advice and encouragement.’
      entrust, put in the hands of, allow to look after, allow to look use
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2trust someone/something to Commit (someone or something) to the safekeeping of.
      ‘they don't like to trust their money to anyone outside the family’
      • ‘People are apprehensive about trusting their food to an unknown business.’
      • ‘When he's talking about the retrospective, it seems as if he's incapable of letting go and trusting his work to others.’
      • ‘Every time we go on an aeroplane for instance, we are trusting our lives to computers in the cockpit and at air traffic control centres.’
      • ‘She has been investing in tax-efficient savings schemes for many years and currently trusts her money to an individual savings account with Intelligent Finance.’
      consign, commit, give, hand over, turn over, assign, commend
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3with clause Have confidence; hope (used as a polite formula in conversation)
      ‘I trust that you have enjoyed this book’
      • ‘Also, I trusted that all the files in my former diocese would be examined.’
      • ‘I trust that he will be open-minded and see that my intentions are good because if he isn't, I may be out of a job sooner than I had anticipated.’
      • ‘I hope and trust that you can salvage your friendships/relationships with the truly penitent.’
      • ‘We hope and trust that workers have learnt a lesson and in future will reflect and weight all the pros and cons before deciding to down tools.’
      • ‘And he trusted that those, in turn, whom he had wronged, would forgive him.’
      • ‘I trust that the young girl who went this route will be more careful with her sexuality in the future and not find herself with an unwanted pregnancy again.’
      • ‘The fact of the matter is that very few people know the truth, and I trust that none of those people told you.’
      • ‘I trust that he will have no hesitation in confirming that he will make every attempt to keep his own expense claims on the taxpayer down to the necessary minimum.’
      • ‘One trusts that he can ignite some spark into the proceedings on Thursday.’
      • ‘I trust that work on this can begin in the near future.’
      • ‘I trusted that when the time came it would be me to whom she would speak and she did.’
      • ‘I hope that this was just an oversight, and I trust that it will never happen again.’
      • ‘I hope and trust that this debate will be furthered and continued by other participants.’
      • ‘He has received a significant amount of lottery funding, and one trusts that his future will be guaranteed, too.’
      • ‘We trust that we have satisfactorily explained this part of the Bank's claim for privilege.’
      hope, expect, think likely, dare say, imagine, believe, assume, presume, suppose, take it
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4no object Have faith or confidence.
      ‘she trusted in the powers of justice’
      • ‘You should have trusted in me, maybe told me what happened, because even now, I'm in the dark.’
      • ‘And they did it, because they were well trained, because they knew and trusted in each other.’
      • ‘I trusted in myself believing that my efforts alone would make me successful in this world.’
      • ‘Over the years, I've trusted in him and stuck to his advice, and I've had a lot of success.’
      • ‘I trusted in the system, I trusted in God and it's paid off.’
      • ‘They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.’
      • ‘It has been our great error that we have not trusted in the power of God.’
      • ‘Through it all he trusted in God in that taken-for-granted way once so common among Catholics.’
      • ‘I had only her promise, and I trusted in it, just as surely as I trusted in Ursula.’
      • ‘She would tell of the sadistic punishment wrought unto the unbelievers by the just who trusted in her righteousness.’
      • ‘I no longer trusted in him and was convinced we would never win anything with him.’
      • ‘She looked very cheerful and lively, as her name stands for Beauty I trusted in her instantly.’
      • ‘I knew that if I trusted in Jesus I would be forgiven for all my sins and could spend all eternity with God.’
      • ‘I have to also have an allegiance to those millions of voters who trusted in me and my commitment to a reform agenda.’
      • ‘She trusted in herself enough to realize that her love for Bailey would get her through those tough nights alone.’
      • ‘We have always trusted in their design expertise and build quality.’
      • ‘They have told of faithful Daniel who trusted in the Lord’
      • ‘I wish he trusted in his mother to do the right thing for him at the right time.’
      • ‘And we as parents had no fear in that area, because we trusted in the Lord, and He provided for us, and still does to this day.’
      • ‘She trusted in the human race too much and it would be her downfall.’
    5. 1.5trust tono object Place reliance on (luck, fate, or something else over which one has little control)
      ‘trusting to the cover of night, I ventured out’
      • ‘I'm just plugging in a few keywords and just sort of trusting to luck.’
      • ‘The student who is tempted to skip it and trust to luck should be mindful of Francis Bacon's axiom.’
      • ‘Whether you agree with the assessment of risks and contingencies I have made or not, my aim is to emphasise that by calculating gas requirements, a diver can at least make decisions from a position of knowledge - rather than trusting to luck.’
      • ‘They are still making decisions to invest when all about them are trusting to the fates.’
      • ‘If you are not sure which variety you have, I'd trust to luck and leave them be.’
      • ‘Joe was not the only one to trust in providence.’
      • ‘She was trusting in the Providence of God's sending for Charlie to help Adam.’
      • ‘Bingo caller Andy said: " I think I am a little more philosophical than to trust to luck.’
      • ‘He gets off the train any old place, trusting to luck, and goes around the platform accosting one person after another, each time mumbling the same syllables: bou bournous…’
      • ‘Sven has no intention of trusting to luck.’
      • ‘We will take our stumps and bat and trust to luck that our French cottage will have a flat area suitable for a few overs.’
      • ‘So I started thinking about how to do it better, instead of trusting to luck or a jolt of deadline inspiration.’
      • ‘All he could do was get a heel on the ball and trust to luck.’
      • ‘You have to face the fact that some players are virtually impossible to save, so it's just trusting to luck.’
      • ‘Anne does not care much whether she lives or dies, for the world will keep turning without her, so she trusts to luck.’
      • ‘What we have just witnessed is a humble attempt to train the nation to choose and decide, to encourage people to think about their problems, stop trusting to fate and begin asking questions.’
      • ‘He travels alone, trusting to luck and goodwill and depending on experience.’
  • 2archaic Allow credit to (a customer).

    • ‘Therefore know ye, all whom it may concern, that the mal-conduct of the said Isaac, has been and still is such, that I am determined not to be liable in any way, directly or indirectly to be called on, on his account, and all persons are forbid to trust him on the faith of my credit.’
    • ‘All persons whatsoever are forbid to trust her on his account, for he will pay no debts of her contracting from the date hereof.’


  • not trust someone as far as one can throw them

    • informal Not trust or hardly trust a particular person at all.

      • ‘I would not trust that guy as far as I can throw him, and well, I am small and not strong- so I hope that makes my point.’
      • ‘For one thing, I still don't trust Hawkins as far as I can throw him.’
  • trust someone to —

    • It is characteristic or predictable for someone to act in the specified way.

      ‘trust Sam to have all the inside information’
      • ‘I like the blond questions… trust her to say that!’
      • ‘Trust him to say that… she'll have choked on her tea now!’


Middle English: from Old Norse traust, from traustr ‘strong’; the verb from Old Norse treysta, assimilated to the noun.