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v. be·lieved, be·liev·ing, be·lieves
1. To accept as true or real: Do you believe the news stories?
2. To credit with veracity: I believe you.
3. To expect or suppose; think: I believe they will arrive shortly.
1. To have firm faith, especially religious faith.
2. To have faith, confidence, or trust: I believe in your ability to solve the problem.
3. To have confidence in the truth or value of something: We believe in free speech.
4. To have an opinion; think: They have already left, I believe.
believe (one's) ears
To trust what one has heard.
believe (one's) eyes
To trust what one has seen.

[Middle English bileven, from Old English belȳfan, belēfan, gelēfan; see leubh- in Indo-European roots.]

be·liev′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (tr; may take a clause as object) to accept (a statement, supposition, or opinion) as true: I believe God exists.
2. (tr) to accept the statement or opinion of (a person) as true
3. (foll by: in) to be convinced of the truth or existence (of): to believe in fairies.
4. (intr) to have religious faith
5. (when tr, takes a clause as object) to think, assume, or suppose: I believe that he has left already.
6. (tr; 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.
[Old English beliefan]
beˈlievaˌbility n
beˈlievable adj
beˈlievably adv
beˈliever n
beˈlieving n, adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



v. -lieved, -liev•ing. v.i.
1. to have confidence in the truth, existence, reliability, or value of something.
2. to have religious faith.
3. to have confidence or faith in the truth of: I can't believe that story.
4. to have confidence in the assertions of (a person).
5. to hold as an opinion; suppose; think: I believe they are out of town.
[1150–1200; Middle English bileven, late Old English belȳfan, belēfan]
be•liev`a•bil′i•ty, be•liev′a•ble•ness, n.
be•liev′a•ble, adj.
be•liev′a•bly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'believe'

If you believe someone or believe what they say, you think that what they say is true.

I don't believe you.
Don't believe anything you read in that newspaper.

If you believe that something is true, you think that it is true.

I believe some of those lakes are over a hundred feet deep.
Police believe that the fire was started deliberately.

Be Careful!
Believe is not used in the progressive. Don't say, for example, 'I am believing you'. You say 'I believe you'.

I believe that these findings should be presented to your readers.
2. 'don't believe'

Instead of saying that you 'believe that something is not' true, you usually say that you don't believe that it is true.

I just don't believe that Alan had anything to do with it.
3. passive forms

You can say either that it is believed that something is true, or that something is believed to be true. For example, you can say 'It is believed that the building is 700 years old' or 'The building is believed to be 700 years old'.

It is believed that two prisoners have escaped.
This is widely believed to be the tallest tree in England.
4. 'believe in'

If you believe in something, you think that it exists.

I don't believe in ghosts.
My children still believe in Father Christmas.

If you believe in an idea or policy, you think it is good or right.

We believe in freedom of speech.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


Past participle: believed
Gerund: believing

I believe
you believe
he/she/it believes
we believe
you believe
they believe
I believed
you believed
he/she/it believed
we believed
you believed
they believed
Present Continuous
I am believing
you are believing
he/she/it is believing
we are believing
you are believing
they are believing
Present Perfect
I have believed
you have believed
he/she/it has believed
we have believed
you have believed
they have believed
Past Continuous
I was believing
you were believing
he/she/it was believing
we were believing
you were believing
they were believing
Past Perfect
I had believed
you had believed
he/she/it had believed
we had believed
you had believed
they had believed
I will believe
you will believe
he/she/it will believe
we will believe
you will believe
they will believe
Future Perfect
I will have believed
you will have believed
he/she/it will have believed
we will have believed
you will have believed
they will have believed
Future Continuous
I will be believing
you will be believing
he/she/it will be believing
we will be believing
you will be believing
they will be believing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been believing
you have been believing
he/she/it has been believing
we have been believing
you have been believing
they have been believing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been believing
you will have been believing
he/she/it will have been believing
we will have been believing
you will have been believing
they will have been believing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been believing
you had been believing
he/she/it had been believing
we had been believing
you had been believing
they had been believing
I would believe
you would believe
he/she/it would believe
we would believe
you would believe
they would believe
Past Conditional
I would have believed
you would have believed
he/she/it would have believed
we would have believed
you would have believed
they would have believed
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.believe - accept as true; take to be true; "I believed his report"; "We didn't believe his stories from the War"; "She believes in spirits"
understand, infer - believe to be the case; "I understand you have no previous experience?"
swallow - believe or accept without questioning or challenge; "Am I supposed to swallow that story?"
buy - accept as true; "I can't buy this story"
believe - follow a credo; have a faith; be a believer; "When you hear his sermons, you will be able to believe, too"
accept - consider or hold as true; "I cannot accept the dogma of this church"; "accept an argument"
rely, trust, swear, bank - have confidence or faith in; "We can trust in God"; "Rely on your friends"; "bank on your good education"; "I swear by my grandmother's recipes"
believe in - have a firm conviction as to the goodness of something; "John believes in oat bran"
disbelieve, discredit - reject as false; refuse to accept
2.believe - judge or regard; look upon; judge; "I think he is very smart"; "I believe her to be very smart"; "I think that he is her boyfriend"; "The racist conceives such people to be inferior"
hold - remain committed to; "I hold to these ideas"
pass judgment, evaluate, judge - form a critical opinion of; "I cannot judge some works of modern art"; "How do you evaluate this grant proposal?" "We shouldn't pass judgment on other people"
rethink - change one's mind; "He rethought his decision to take a vacation"
think - dispose the mind in a certain way; "Do you really think so?"
look upon, regard as, repute, take to be, esteem, look on, think of - look on as or consider; "she looked on this affair as a joke"; "He thinks of himself as a brilliant musician"; "He is reputed to be intelligent"
feel - have a feeling or perception about oneself in reaction to someone's behavior or attitude; "She felt small and insignificant"; "You make me feel naked"; "I made the students feel different about themselves"
consider, regard, view, reckon, see - deem to be; "She views this quite differently from me"; "I consider her to be shallow"; "I don't see the situation quite as negatively as you do"
3.believe - be confident about somethingbelieve - be confident about something; "I believe that he will come back from the war"
anticipate, expect - regard something as probable or likely; "The meteorologists are expecting rain for tomorrow"
4.believe - follow a credobelieve - follow a credo; have a faith; be a believer; "When you hear his sermons, you will be able to believe, too"
faith, religion, religious belief - a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; "he lost his faith but not his morality"
believe - accept as true; take to be true; "I believed his report"; "We didn't believe his stories from the War"; "She believes in spirits"
misbelieve - hold a false or unorthodox belief
5.believe - credit with veracity; "You cannot believe this man"; "Should we believe a publication like the National Enquirer?"
credit - have trust in; trust in the truth or veracity of
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. think, consider, judge, suppose, maintain, estimate, imagine, assume, gather, guess (informal, chiefly U.S. & Canad.), reckon, conclude, deem, speculate, presume, conjecture, postulate, surmise I believe you have something of mine.
2. accept, hold, buy (slang), trust, credit, depend on, rely on, swallow (informal), count on, buy into (slang), have faith in, swear by, be certain of, be convinced of, place confidence in, presume true, take as gospel, take on (U.S.) Don't believe what you read in the papers.
accept question, doubt, distrust, disbelieve
believe in someone trust in, have faith in, place reliance on, place your trust in, pin your faith on, place confidence in If you believe in yourself you can succeed.
believe in something advocate, champion, approve of, swear by He believed in marital fidelity.
"To believe with certainty we must begin with doubting" [Stanislaus I of Poland Maxims]
"Man can believe the impossible, but man can never believe the improbable" [Oscar Wilde The Decay of Lying]
"We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe" [Cardinal Newman Letter to Mrs William Froude]
"It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe" [Thomas Paine The Age of Reason]
"Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe" Bible: St. John
"Though ye believe not me, believe the works" Bible: St. John
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. To regard (something) as true or real:
Slang: buy, swallow.
2. To have confidence in the truthfulness of:
Idiom: take at one's word.
3. To have an opinion:
Informal: figure, judge.
Idiom: be of the opinion.
4. To view in a certain way:
5. To regard in an appraising way:
phrasal verb
believe in
To place trust or confidence in:
bank on (or upon), count on (or upon), depend on (or upon), reckon on (or upon), rely on (or upon), trust (in).
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
اعتقدامن بيُؤْمِنُيَثِقُ بِكَلاميَحْسُبُ
věřitdomnívat sedůvěřovatmyslit
tromeneregne med
creercreer (que)entenderopinarpensar (que)
olla jotain mieltäuskoa
halda, álítatreysta, trúa átrúa, leggja trúnaî á
믿다생각하다...을 믿다간주하다
įtikėtinaslaikyti reikalingupasitikėjimastikėjimastikėti kuo
mislitipretvarjati severjeti
räkna uttro
เชื่อเลื่อมใส ศรัทธาคิดว่า พิจารณาว่า ถือว่า
nghĩ làtintin tưởng


1. (= think) → creer
I believe socreo que sí
I believe notcreo que no
he is believed to be abroadse cree que está en el extranjero
2. [+ story, evidence, person] → creer
don't you believe it!¡no te lo creas!
believe it or not, she bought itaunque parezca mentira, lo compró
it was hot, believe (you) mehacía calor, ¡y cómo!
I couldn't believe my eyesno podía dar crédito a mis ojos
do you really believe the threat?¿crees de veras en la amenaza?
I would never have believed it of himjamás le hubiera creído capaz de eso
B. VIcreer
to believe in Godcreer en Dios
I don't believe in corporal punishmentno soy partidario del castigo corporal
we don't believe in drugsno aprobamos el uso de las drogas
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


vt [+ person, thing] → croire
I don't believe you → Je ne te crois pas.
believe it or not → vous me croirez si vous voulez
would you believe it! → vous rendez-vous compte?
believe you me → croyez-moi
I couldn't believe my eyes → je n'en croyais pas mes yeux
I couldn't believe my ears → je n'en croyais pas mes oreilles
to believe in [+ God] → croire en; [+ ghosts] → croire à
Do you believe in ghosts? → Tu crois aux fantômes?; [+ method] → croire à
I don't believe in corporal punishment
BUT Je ne suis pas partisan des châtiments corporels.
to be believed to be ...
He is believed to be abroad → Il serait à l'étranger.
to believe (that) ... (= think) → croire que ..., penser que ...
to believe in sb → croire en qn, avoir confiance en qn
to believe in o.s. → avoir confiance en soi
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


sthglauben; sbglauben (+dat); I don’t believe youdas glaube ich (Ihnen) nicht; don’t you believe itwers glaubt, wird selig (inf); it’s true, please believe mees stimmt, bitte glauben Sie mir das; believe me, I mean itglauben Sie mir, es ist mir ernst or Ernst; believe you me! (inf)das können Sie mir glauben!; believe it or notob Sies glauben oder nicht; would you believe it! (inf)ist das (denn) die Möglichkeit (inf); I would never have believed it of himdas hätte ich nie von ihm geglaubt; he could hardly believe his eyes/earser traute seinen Augen/Ohren nicht; if he is to be believedwenn man ihm glauben darf or Glauben schenken kann
(= think)glauben; he is believed to be illes heißt, dass er krank ist; I believe so/notich glaube schon/nicht ? make-believe
vi (= have a religious faith)an Gott glauben; you must believe!Sie müssen glauben!
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. vt (story, person) → credere a
to believe (that) (be of the opinion that) → credere (che)
I don't believe he'll come → non credo che verrà or che venga
don't you believe it! → non crederci!
I don't believe a word of it! → non credo a una parola di tutto questo!
he is believed to be abroad → si pensa (che) sia all'estero
2. vicredere
to believe in (God) → credere in (ghosts) → credere a (method) → avere fiducia in
I don't believe in corporal punishment → sono contrario alle punizioni corporali
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(biˈliːv) verb
1. to regard (something) as true. I believe his story.
2. to trust (a person), accepting what he says as true. I believe you.
3. to think (that). I believe he's ill.
beˈlievable adjective
beˈlief (-f) noun
1. faith or trust. I have no belief in his ability.
2. (often in plural) something believed. Christian beliefs.
beˈliever noun
a person who has (especially religious) beliefs. a true believer.
believe in
to accept the existence or recognize the value of (something). Do you believe in ghosts?; He believes in capital punishment.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


يُؤْمِنُ, يَحْسُبُ, يُصَدِّقُ domnívat se, věřit regne med, tro glauben, meinen λογαριάζω, πιστεύω creer, opinar olla jotain mieltä, uskoa croire, penser misliti, smatrati, vjerovati calcolare, credere 信じる, 信仰する, 判断する ...을 믿다, 간주하다, 믿다 geloven, rekenen synes, tro przypuścić, uwierzyć acreditar, calcular, crer верить, считать räkna ut, tro เชื่อ, เลื่อมใส ศรัทธา, คิดว่า พิจารณาว่า ถือว่า düşünmek, inandırmak, inanmak nghĩ là, tin, tin tưởng 猜想, 相信, 笃信宗教
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
(2) We must distinguish between believing and what is believed. I may believe that Columbus crossed the Atlantic, that all Cretans are liars, that two and two are four, or that nine times six is fifty-six; in all these cases the believing is just the same, and only the contents believed are different.
One of the things that Philip had heard definitely stated was that the unbeliever was a wicked and a vicious man; but Weeks, though he believed in hardly anything that Philip believed, led a life of Christian purity.
But, Joe had sanctified it, and I had believed in it.
Too well do I know those godlike ones: they insist on being believed in, and that doubt is sin.
She believed the regard to be mutual; but she required greater certainty of it to make Marianne's conviction of their attachment agreeable to her.
The poets appeared to me to be much in the same case; and I further observed that upon the strength of their poetry they believed themselves to be the wisest of men in other things in which they were not wise.
He felt himself a king, not because he believed that he had made an impression on Anna--he did not yet believe that,--but because the impression she had made on him gave him happiness and pride.
Whether he accepted the wise reasoning contained in the Mason's words, or believed as a child believes, in the speaker's tone of conviction and earnestness, or the tremor of the speaker's voice- which sometimes almost broke- or those brilliant aged eyes grown old in this conviction, or the calm firmness and certainty of his vocation, which radiated from his whole being (and which struck Pierre especially by contrast with his own dejection and hopelessness)- at any rate, Pierre longed with his whole soul to believe and he did believe, and felt a joyful sense of comfort, regeneration, and return to life.
I don't think anybody believed me, but everybody soon learned to avoid insinuating a word against her, or even mentioning her name in my presence.
If Moses, Cyrus, Theseus, and Romulus had been unarmed they could not have enforced their constitutions for long--as happened in our time to Fra Girolamo Savonarola, who was ruined with his new order of things immediately the multitude believed in him no longer, and he had no means of keeping steadfast those who believed or of making the unbelievers to believe.
I wish I could be as well satisfied as he is, that it was really her choice to leave Langford for Churchhill;and if she had not stayed there for months before she discovered that her friend's manner of living did not suit her situation or feelings, I might have believed that concern for the loss of such a husband as Mr.
I love you too much to live with you for the rest of my life wondering all the time whether you still believed or whether the weight of the evidence had crushed out that tiny little spark of intuition which is all that makes you believe me now.