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

  • n. Trust or faith in a person or thing.
  • n. A trusting relationship: I took them into my confidence.
  • n. That which is confided; a secret: A friend does not betray confidences.
  • n. A feeling of assurance that a confidant will keep a secret: I am telling you this in strict confidence.
  • n. A feeling of assurance, especially of self-assurance.
  • n. The state or quality of being certain: I have every confidence in your ability to succeed.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or involving a swindle or fraud: a confidence scheme; a confidence trickster.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Self-assurance.
  • n. Expression or feeling of certainty.
  • n. The quality of trusting.
  • n. Information held in secret.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of confiding, trusting, or putting faith in; trust; reliance; belief; -- formerly followed by of, now commonly by in.
  • n. That in which faith is put or reliance had.
  • n. The state of mind characterized by one's reliance on himself, or his circumstances; a feeling of self-sufficiency; such assurance as leads to a feeling of security; self-reliance; -- often with self prefixed.
  • n. Private conversation; (pl.) secrets shared.
  • n. Trustful; without fear or suspicion; frank; unreserved.
  • n. Having self-reliance; bold; undaunted.
  • n. Having an excess of assurance; bold to a fault; dogmatical; impudent; presumptuous.
  • n. Giving occasion for confidence.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Assurance of mind or firm belief in the good will, integrity, stability, or veracity of another, or in the truth or certainty of a proposition or an assertion; trust; reliance.
  • n. Reliance on one's own powers, resources, or circumstances; belief in one's own competency; self-reliance; assurance.
  • n. That in which trust is placed; ground of trust; one who or that which gives assurance or security.
  • n. Boldness; courage; disregard or defiance of danger.
  • n. A secret; a private or confidential communication: as, to exchange confidences.

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

  • n. freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities
  • n. a trustful relationship
  • n. a secret that is confided or entrusted to another
  • n. a state of confident hopefulness that events will be favorable
  • n. a feeling of trust (in someone or something)


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin confidentia > confidere > con- + fidere > fides


  • To kiss the handsomest woman in the party, to pay her a compliment in some extempore effusion, or to whisper a confidence (_faire une confidence_) in her ear -- all these are hardly enjoined before they are happily accomplished.

    Travels in France during the years 1814-15 Comprising a residence at Paris, during the stay of the allied armies, and at Aix, at the period of the landing of Bonaparte, in two volumes.

  • But I haste to the qualifications of this divine work, — fervency, reverence, and confidence; _fervency_ in crying, _reverence and confidence_ in crying, “Abba, Father;” for these two suit well toward our

    The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

  • The first distinction to be made is that, in parliamentary governments, the head of the government__for whom there are various different official titles such as prime minister, premier, chancellor and his or her cabinet are dependent upon the confidence of the legislature and can be dismissed from the office by a legislative vote of ´no confidence´ or censure.

    American Chronicle

  • _implicit confidence_, we do not thereby indicate any specific _kind_ of faith and confidence differing from other faith or other confidence: but it is a vague rhetorical word which expresses a great _degree_ of faith and confidence; a faith that is unquestioning, a confidence that is unlimited; _i. e._ in fact, a faith that _is_ a faith, a confidence that

    Note Book of an English Opium-Eater

  • Though as yet we had never had a personal interview, he, nevertheless, corresponded with me with great frankness and confidence; which _confidence_, I beg him to make himself perfectly satisfied, shall never be basely betrayed by me, even if he should behave to me worse than he already has done; even if he should employ his hopeful paid agent Cleary to read upon the hustings a private letter a day, for the remainder of his life.

    Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. — Volume 2

  • The first term is the word confidence itself, the topic of this chapter.

    Make Yourself Unforgettable

  • As Reagan understood them: "We seek to reduce nuclear arsenals and to reduce the chances for dangerous misunderstanding and miscalculations, so we have put forward proposals for what we call confidence-building measures."

    Joe Cirincione: Reagan the Abolitionist

  • This confidence is a big part of the thrill of reading him, but also why some people don't like him.

    A Conversation with Damion Searls about Thoreau's Journal

  • I have every confidence that you have the will, the determination and the application to achieve the most demanding of ambitions – and the reason for my confidence is your own self-doubt.

    Dear Jeremy

  • Visual artists call it confidence of line; we call it narrative authority.

    and his sister's weird. she drives a lorry.


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  • July 7, 2008

  • Yes, I think second guessing is very concrete, and leads to dithering. One may accept doubt without feeling compelled to act on it.

    July 10, 2007

  • Interesting also is the difference between "second guessing" and "doubting." To me, the latter always implied a less immediate, more diffuse sort of uncertainty.

    July 10, 2007

  • Well, I think the idea is that the surgeon will inevitably have to make life or death decisions, often quickly. S/he has no time to ponder. The decision, of course, will be made on the basis of experience, knowledge and evidence, but there is no time for second guessing or doubt. Once a decision is made, it must be acted upon.

    Personally, I do not have the temperament for that, but I am certainly glad others do!

    July 10, 2007

  • I'd say that "principle" applies to anything that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. However, surgery does matter. Yikes.

    July 10, 2007

  • There are variants of the saying "Sometimes/often wrong but never in doubt." I have heard it said that it is a necessary atribute of surgeons. And yet there is also such a thing as overconfidence.

    July 10, 2007

  • The stuff of all achievers. Inversely proportional to doubt. But a confidence man is to be avoided at all costs to preserve one's own store of confidence!

    July 10, 2007