from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To accept as true or real: Do you believe the news stories?
- transitive v. To credit with veracity: I believe you.
- transitive v. To expect or suppose; think: I believe they will arrive shortly.
- intransitive v. To have firm faith, especially religious faith.
- intransitive v. To have faith, confidence, or trust: I believe in your ability to solve the problem.
- intransitive v. To have confidence in the truth or value of something: We believe in free speech.
- intransitive v. To have an opinion; think: They have already left, I believe.
- idiom believe (one's) ears To trust what one has heard.
- idiom believe (one's) eyes To trust what one has seen.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To think something is true without having proof or empirical evidence.
- v. To accept that someone is telling the truth.
- v. To accept as true.
- v. To have religious faith; to believe in a greater truth.
- v. To consider likely.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To exercise belief in; to credit upon the authority or testimony of another; to be persuaded of the truth of, upon evidence furnished by reasons, arguments, and deductions of the mind, or by circumstances other than personal knowledge; to regard or accept as true; to place confidence in; to think; to consider.
- intransitive v. To have a firm persuasion, esp. of the truths of religion; to have a persuasion approaching to certainty; to exercise belief or faith.
- intransitive v. To think; to suppose.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To have faith or confidence.
- To exercise trust or confidence; rely through faith: generally with on.
- To be persuaded of the truth of anything; accept a doctrine, principle, system, etc., as true, or as an object of faith: with in: as, “I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints,” etc., Apostles' Crecd; to believe in Buddhism. See belief.
- To credit upon the ground of authority, testimony, argument, or any other ground than complete demonstration; accept as true; give credence to. See belief.
- To give credence to (a person making a statement, anything said, etc.).
- To expect or hope with confidence; trust.
- To be of opinion; think; understand: as, I believe he has left the city.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. follow a credo; have a faith; be a believer
- v. judge or regard; look upon; judge
- v. accept as true; take to be true
- v. be confident about something
- v. credit with veracity
Middle English bileven, from Old English belȳfan, belēfan, gelēfan; see leubh- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English beleven, bileven, from Old English belīefan ("to believe"), from Proto-Germanic *bilaubijanan (“to believe”), equivalent to be- + leave (“to allow, permit”). Cognate with Scots beleve ("to believe"). Compare Old English ġelīefan ("to be dear to; believe, trust"), Old English ġelēafa ("belief, faith, confidence, trust"), Old English lēof ("dear, valued, beloved, pleasant, agreeable"; > English lief). Related also to North Frisian leauwjen ("to believe"), West Frisian leauwe ("to believe"), Dutch geloven ("to believe"), German glauben ("to believe"), Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐌻𐌰𐌿𐌱𐌾𐌰𐌽 (galaubjan, "to hold dear, valuable, or satisfactory, approve of, believe"). (Wiktionary)