Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another.
  • noun Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something.
  • noun Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Confidence reposed in any person or thing; faith; trust: as, a child's belief in his parents.
  • noun A conviction of the truth of a given proposition or an alleged fact, resting upon grounds insufficient to constitute positive knowledge.
  • noun Persuasion of the truth of a proposition, but with the consciousness that the positive evidence for it is insufficient or wanting; especially, assurance of the truth of what rests chiefly or solely upon authority.
  • noun That which is believed; an object of belief.
  • noun The whole body of tenets held by the professors of any faith.
  • noun A creed; a formula embodying the essential doctrines of a religion or a church.
  • noun Synonyms and Opinion, Conviction, etc. (see persuasion); credence, trust, credit, confidence. Doctrine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Assent to a proposition or affirmation, or the acceptance of a fact, opinion, or assertion as real or true, without immediate personal knowledge; reliance upon word or testimony; partial or full assurance without positive knowledge or absolute certainty; persuasion; conviction; confidence.
  • noun (Theol.) A persuasion of the truths of religion; faith.
  • noun The thing believed; the object of belief.
  • noun A tenet, or the body of tenets, held by the advocates of any class of views; doctrine; creed.
  • noun a first principle incapable of proof; an intuitive truth; an intuition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Mental acceptance of a claim as truth regardless of supporting or contrary empirical evidence.
  • noun countable Something believed.
  • noun uncountable The quality or state of believing.
  • noun uncountable Religious faith.
  • noun in the plural One's religious or moral convictions.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a vague idea in which some confidence is placed
  • noun any cognitive content held as true

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English bileve, alteration (influenced by bileven, to believe) of Old English gelēafa; see leubh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English lēafa.

Examples

  • Just as the significance of belief in God can vary with social context, with the result that it can make little sense to think of ˜belief in God™ as a meme, so the function of some DNA sequence can vary with organic context, with the result that it makes little sense to identify some sequence type as a gene for the purposes of evolutionary analysis.

    Cultural Evolution

  • The belief that God, or a group of gods, is identical with the whole natural world; pantheism comes from Greek roots meaning “belief that everything is a god.

    pantheism

  • If there is a complex unity 'Desdemona's love for Cassio', consisting of the object-terms related by the object-relation in the same order as they have in the belief, then this complex unity is called the _fact corresponding to the belief_.

    The Problems of Philosophy

  • In spite of the fact that in these days the personality of God is often regarded as a transient feature of religion, that type of belief which throws most light upon the religious experience is the _belief in persons_.

    The Approach to Philosophy

  • A belief in judicial astrology can now only exist in the people, who may be said to have no belief at all; for mere traditional sentiments can hardly be said to amount to a _belief_.

    Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3)

  • I would like to propose that belief in God is simply that - * belief*.

    open source theology - collaborative theology for the emerging church

  • _particular belief of their writers_ their true interpretation, I would make the _belief of the Catholic Church such_.

    Apologia Pro Vita Sua

  • Tract, addressed to Dr. Jelf, I say: "The only peculiarity of the view I advocate, if I must so call it, is this -- that whereas it is usual at this day to make the _particular belief of their writers_ their true interpretation, I would make the _belief of the Catholic

    Apologia pro Vita Sua

  • Although we use the term belief in everyday life with little problems, it is actually incredibly hard to define with some schools of thought thinking it will eventually be discarded as useless, like other abandoned theories such the four humours theory of medicine.

    Mind Hacks: August 2006 Archives

  • Although we use the term belief in everyday life with little problems, it is actually incredibly hard to define with some schools of thought thinking it will eventually be discarded as useless, like other abandoned theories such the four humours theory of medicine.

    Mind Hacks: The Nature of Belief

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