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believe

[bih-leev] /bɪˈliv/
verb (used without object), believed, believing.
1.
to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so:
Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully.
verb (used with object), believed, believing.
2.
to have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story, etc.); give credence to.
3.
to have confidence in the assertions of (a person).
4.
to have a conviction that (a person or thing) is, has been, or will be engaged in a given action or involved in a given situation:
The fugitive is believed to be headed for the Mexican border.
5.
to suppose or assume; understand (usually followed by a noun clause):
I believe that he has left town.
Verb phrases
6.
believe in,
  1. to be persuaded of the truth or existence of:
    to believe in Zoroastrianism; to believe in ghosts.
  2. to have faith in the reliability, honesty, benevolence, etc., of:
    I can help only if you believe in me.
Idioms
7.
make believe. make1 (def 68).
Origin
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English bileven, equivalent to bi- be- + leven, Old English (Anglian) gelēfan (cognate with Dutch gelooven, German glauben, Gothic galaubjan)
Related forms
believability, believableness, noun
believable, adjective
believably, adverb
believer, noun
believingly, adverb
half-believed, adjective
half-believing, adjective
prebelieve, verb, prebelieved, prebelieving.
prebeliever, noun
superbelievable, adjective
superbelievableness, noun
superbelievably, adverb
well-believed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for believing
  • When faced with hardpan, many gardeners despair, believing they must remove the entire hardpan.
  • He always worked without a net, believing that preparing for disaster only made one more likely to occur.
  • Many researchers have had difficulty believing those rocks.
  • At the moment, the main reason for believing dark matter exists is that spinning galaxies would fly apart without it.
  • The trouble with crying wolf too often is that people stop believing you.
  • Many franchisees sign a franchise agreement believing it to be less risky than setting up a business on their own.
  • So farmers postpone the purchase, believing they will make it later.
  • He answers them in slogans that he gives every appearance of believing.
  • believing you're better than you are may help you succeed, a new study says.
  • But some urban myths have been told so many times that people start believing them.
British Dictionary definitions for believing

believe

/bɪˈliːv/
verb
1.
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to accept (a statement, supposition, or opinion) as true: I believe God exists
2.
(transitive) to accept the statement or opinion of (a person) as true
3.
(intransitive) foll by in. to be convinced of the truth or existence (of): to believe in fairies
4.
(intransitive) to have religious faith
5.
(when transitive, takes a clause as object) to think, assume, or suppose: I believe that he has left already
6.
(transitive; foll by of; used with can, could, would, etc) to think that someone is able to do (a particular action): I wouldn't have believed it of him
Derived Forms
believability, noun
believable, adjective
believably, adverb
believer, noun
believing, noun, adjective
Word Origin
Old English beliefan
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for believing

believe

v.

Old English belyfan "to believe," earlier geleafa (Mercian), gelefa (Northumbrian), gelyfan (West Saxon) "believe," from Proto-Germanic *ga-laubjan "to believe," perhaps literally "hold dear, love" (cf. Old Saxon gilobian "believe," Dutch geloven, Old High German gilouben, German glauben), ultimately a compound based on PIE *leubh- "to care, desire, love" (see belief).

Spelling beleeve is common till 17c.; then altered, perhaps by influence of relieve, etc. To believe on instead of in was more common in 16c. but now is a peculiarity of theology; believe of also sometimes was used in 17c. Related: Believed (formerly occasionally beleft); believing. Expression believe it or not attested by 1874; Robert Ripley's newspaper cartoon of the same name is from 1918. Emphatic you better believe attested from 1854.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for believing

believe

Related Terms

you better believe something


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with believing

believing

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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