1. The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another: My belief in you is as strong as ever.
2. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something: His explanation of what happened defies belief.
3. Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.
[Middle English bileve, alteration (influenced by bileven, to believe) of Old English gelēafa; see leubh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: belief, credence, credit, faith
These nouns denote mental acceptance of the truth, actuality, or validity of something: a statement unworthy of belief; an idea steadily gaining credence; expert testimony meriting credit; has no faith in the poorly collected data. See Also Synonyms at view.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.