A belief is an idea one accepts as being true or real. Many children have a strong belief that the Tooth Fairy really does exist.

The noun belief replaced the Old English word geleafa, meaning “belief, faith,” in the late 12th century. A belief is an idea one usually holds with conviction and importance. In a religious context, the Ancient Greeks held the belief that many gods existed, controlling their fate, while Christianity began with the belief that only one God exists. You can also have belief in yourself in the face of a challenge.

Definitions of belief

n any cognitive content held as true

disbelief, unbelief
a rejection of belief
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Augsburg Confession
the document drawn up in 1555 to defend the catholicity of Lutheran doctrine and to justify innovations in Lutheran practice; is still in effect today
(Greek mythology) a mysterious and terrifying deity of the underworld
(Greek mythology) the Greek god of sleep; the son of Nyx
the Roman god of sleep and dreams
the farmer god; ancient god of agriculture
mother of the ancient Irish gods; sometimes identified with Danu
Angus Og
Celtic god of love and beauty; patron deity of young men and women
Celtic deity who was the lord of Annwfn (the other world or the land of fairies)
Celtic goddess famous for her beauty; mother of Dylan
Celtic goddess; mother of Angus Og
Celtic goddess of fire and fertility and agriculture and household arts and wisdom; later associated with Saint Bridget
chief Celtic god of the Tuatha De Danann; father of Angus Og and Brigit
Celtic goddess who was the mother of the Tuatha De Danann; identified with the Welsh Don
Celtic goddess; mother of Gwydion and Arianrhod; corresponds to Irish Danu
Celtic god of the waves; son of Arianrhod
(possibly Roman mythology) Celtic goddess of horses and mules and asses
Celtic sky god; a magician; giver of arts and civilization
Celtic underworld god
a Celtic warrior god
Celtic deity who was the father of Manawydan; corresponds to Irish Lir
ancient Celtic god
Celtic god of the sea; son of Ler
Celtic sea god; son of Llyr
Celtic war goddess
Egyptian sun god; supreme god of the universe in whom Amen and Ra were merged; principal deity during Theban supremacy
Egyptian god of tombs and ruler of the underworld; usually depicted as a man with the head of a jackal
the sun (or solar disc) which was the deity of a monotheistic cult under the Pharaoh Akhenaten
cat- or lion-headed Egyptian goddess; represents life-giving power of the sun
Egyptian god of the earth; father of Osiris and Isis
Egyptian solar god with the head of a falcon; the son of Osiris and Isis
Egyptian goddess of fertility; daughter of Geb; sister and wife of Osiris
Egyptian god of the morning sun; creator
an Egyptian god of procreation
Egyptian goddess associated with ritual of the dead; sister of Geb and Nut; wife of Set
Egyptian goddess of the sky
Egyptian god of the underworld and judge of the dead; husband and brother of Isis; father of Horus
a major Egyptian god; shaper of the world; father of gods and men; worshipped especially at Memphis
ancient Egyptian sun god with the head of a hawk; a universal creator; he merged with the god Amen as Amen-Ra to become the king of the gods
Eye of Ra
a lion-headed Egyptian goddess; typifies life-destroying power of the sun
evil Egyptian god with the head of a beast that has high square ears and a long snout; brother and murderer of Osiris
Egyptian Moon deity with the head of an ibis; god of wisdom and learning and the arts; scribe of the gods
Babylonian god of storms and wind
a Babylonian demigod or first man (sometimes identified with Adam)
the Babylonian father of the gods; identified with Assyrian Ashur; in Sumerian the name signifies `the totality of the upper world'
Babylonian consort of Anu
Babylonian god of the sky; one of the supreme triad including Bel and Ea
father of the gods and consort of Tiamat
mother and earth goddess in Gilgamish epic; identified with Sumerian Ki and Ninkhursag
chief god of the Assyrians; god of military prowess and empire; identified with Babylonian Anshar
an ancient Phoenician goddess of love and fertility; the Phoenician counterpart to Ishtar
Babylonian and Assyrian goddess of love and fertility and war; counterpart to the Phoenician Astarte
any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples; the Hebrews considered Baal a false god
Babylonian god of the earth; one of the supreme triad including Anu and Ea; earlier identified with En-lil
god of agriculture and the earth; national god of Philistines
god of agriculture and earth; counterpart of Phoenician Dagon
(Babylonian) earth goddess; consort of Ea and mother of Marduk
Sumerian and Babylonian god of pastures and vegetation; consort of Inanna
the Babylonian god of wisdom; son of Apsu and father of Marduk; counterpart of the Sumerian Enki; as one of the supreme triad including Anu and Bel he was assigned control of the watery element
water god and god of wisdom; counterpart of the Akkadian Ea
god of the air and king of the Sumerian gods
goddess of death and consort of Nergal
the Babylonian god of fire; often invoked in incantations against sorcery
the Babylonian goddess of healing and consort of Ninurta
any of a group of heavenly spirits under the god Anu
consort of Dumuzi (Tammuz)
goddess personifying earth; counterpart of Akkadian Aruru
Babylonian consort of Anshar; in Sumerian the name signifies `the totality of the lower world'
a name under which Ninkhursag was worshipped
Baal Merodach
the chief Babylonian god; his consort was Sarpanitu
god of the Canaanites and Phoenicians to whom parents sacrificed their children
Babylonian god of wisdom and agriculture and patron of scribes and schools
goddess personifying the primeval sea; mother of the gods and of heaven and earth
a demon personifying death; messenger of the underworld goddess Ereshkigal bringing death to mankind
god of the Moon; counterpart of the Akkadian Sin
(Akkadian) god ruling with his consort Ereshkigal the world of the dead
the Babylonian goddess of the watery deep and daughter of Ea
(Akkadian) a goddess; wife of the Moon god Sin
Babylonian god in older pantheon: god of war and agriculture
an underworld Babylonian deity; patron of medicine
the great mother goddess; worshipped also as Aruru and Mama and Nintu
a name under which Ninkhursag was worshipped
a solar deity; firstborn of Bel and consort was Gula; god of war and the chase and agriculture; sometimes identified with biblical Nimrod
god of fire and light; corresponds to Babylonian Girru
god of storms and wind; corresponds to Babylonian Adad
consort of Marduk
the chief sun god; drives away winter and storms and brightens the earth with greenery; drives away evil and brings justice and compassion
(Akkadian) god of the Moon; counterpart of Sumerian Nanna
consort of Nabu
(Akkadian) mother of the gods and consort of Apsu
favorite of the gods and grandfather of Gilgamish; survived the great flood and became immortal
sun god; counterpart of Akkadian Shamash
evil storm god represented as a black bird
a Hindu goddess who releases from sin or disease; mother of the Adityas
(Sanskrit) Hindu god of fire in ancient and traditional India; one of the three chief deities of the Vedas
earlier a god; later a demon; counterpart of Zoroastrian Ahura
Hindu god of wealth and love
the Creator; one of the three major deities in the later Hindu pantheon
personification of the power of ritual devotion
Bhumi Devi
Hindu earth goddess; one of the two wives of Vishnu
Hindu mother goddess; supreme power in the universe; wife or embodiment of the female energy of Siva having both beneficent and malevolent forms or aspects
malevolent aspect of Devi
Hindu goddess of war; a malevolent aspect of Devi
Hindu god of the sky
Hindu god of wisdom or prophecy; the god who removes obstacles
in Hinduism, goddess of purity and posterity and a benevolent aspect of Devi; the `brilliant'
in Hinduism, the monkey god and helper of Rama; god of devotion and courage
chief Hindu god of the Rig-Veda; god of rain and thunder
unknown god; an epithet of Prajapati and Brahma
wife of Siva and malevolent form of Devi
Hindu god of love and erotic desire; opposite of Mara
Hindu god of death; opposite of Kama
Hindu god of bravery
Hindu goddess of fortune and prosperity
Hindu god of friendship and alliances; usually invoked together with Varuna as a supporter of heaven and earth
Hindu god of rain; sometimes identified with Indra
wife of Siva and a benevolent aspect of Devi: Hindu goddess of plenty
Hindu god personifying a creative force; equivalent to Brahma
celestial shepherd god; conductor of souls of the dead
a Hindu demon who swallows the sun causing eclipses
father of the Hindu storm gods Marut; controller of nature; sometimes identified with Siva
Hindu goddess of learning and the arts
an important Hindu god; the sun in its life-giving aspect
the female or generative principle; wife of Siva and a benevolent form of Devi
the destroyer; one of the three major divinities in the later Hindu pantheon
Hindu god of war
an important god of later Hinduism; the sun god or the sun itself worshipped as the source of warmth and light
a benevolent aspect of Devi; `splendor'
Hindu goddess of dawn; daughter of the sky and sister of the night
in Vedism, god of the night sky who with his thousand eyes watches over human conduct and judges good and evil and punishes evildoers; often considered king of the Hindu gods and frequently paired with Mitra as an upholder of the world
Hindu wind god
the sustainer; a Hindu divinity worshipped as the preserver of worlds
Hindu god of death and lord of the underworld
ancient Persian god of light and truth; sun god
Ahura Mazda
chief deity of Zoroastrianism; source of light and embodiment of good
the spirit of evil in Zoroastrianism; arch rival of Ormazd
Buddhist worthy of nirvana who postpones it to help others
a Buddhist who has attained nirvana
Chang Kuo-lao
one of the 8 immortals of Taoism
Wen Ch'ang
Chinese god of literature
Taoist Trinity
the three pure ones; the three chief gods of Taoism
Heavenly Jewel
a member of the Taoist Trinity
Mystic Jewel
a member of the Taoist Trinity
Spiritual Jewel
a member of the Taoist Trinity; identified with Lao-tse
Kuan Yin
(Buddhism) a female Bodhisattva; often called goddess of mercy and considered an aspect of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara; identified with Japanese Kwannon
Amaterasu Omikami
central deity of Shinto; goddess personifying the sun and ancestress of the rulers of Japan
a Shinto god of war
one of the 7 gods of happiness
the god who fathered the islands and gods of Japan with his sister Izanami
sister and consort of Izanami; mother of the islands and gods of Japan
one the Shinto deities (including mythological beings, spirits of distinguished men, forces of nature)
Japanese counterpart of Chinese Kuan Yin
grandson of Amaterasu and first ruler of Japan
Supreme Being
the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions
Prince of Darkness
(Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions) chief spirit of evil and adversary of God; tempter of mankind; master of Hell
Olympic god
a classical Greek god after the overthrow of the Titans
god of the winds in ancient mythology
Phoebus Apollo
(Greek mythology) Greek god of light; god of prophecy and poetry and music and healing; son of Zeus and Leto; twin brother of Artemis
goddess of love and beauty and daughter of Zeus in ancient mythology; identified with Roman Venus
goddess of love; counterpart of Greek Aphrodite
(Greek mythology) Greek god of war; son of Zeus and Hera; identified with Roman Mars
(Greek mythology) goddess of discord; sister of Ares
(Greek mythology) the Greek personification of death; son of Nyx
(Roman mythology) Roman god of death; counterpart of Thanatos
(Roman mythology) Roman god of war and agriculture; father of Romulus and Remus; counterpart of Greek Ares
(Greek mythology) Greek goddess of the night; daughter of Chaos; counterpart of Roman Nox
(Greek mythology) the virgin goddess of the hunt and the Moon; daughter of Leto and twin sister of Apollo; identified with Roman Diana
(Greek mythology) the god who personified the north wind
(Roman mythology) virgin goddess of the hunt and the Moon; counterpart of Greek Artemis
goddess of criminal rashness and its punishment
Pallas Athena
(Greek mythology) goddess of wisdom and useful arts and prudent warfare; guardian of Athens; identified with Roman Minerva
(Roman mythology) goddess of wisdom; counterpart of Greek Athena
(Greek mythology) the most ancient of gods; the personification of the infinity of space preceding creation of the universe
(Roman mythology) god of agriculture and vegetation; counterpart of Greek Cronus
(Greek mythology) goddess of fertility and protector of marriage in ancient mythology; counterpart of Roman Ceres
(Roman mythology) goddess of agriculture; counterpart of Greek Demeter
(Greek mythology) god of wine and fertility and drama; the Greek name of Bacchus
(Greek mythology) wife of Nereus and mother of the Nereids
son of Apollo; a hero and the Roman god of medicine and healing; his daughters were Hygeia and Panacea
(classical mythology) god of wine; equivalent of Dionysus
(Greek mythology) Greek god of darkness who dwelt in the underworld; son of Chaos; brother of Nox; father of Aether and Day
Roman goddess of night; daughter of Erebus; counterpart of Greek Nyx
(Greek mythology) god of love; son of Aphrodite; identified with Roman Cupid
(Roman mythology) god of love; counterpart of Greek Eros
(Greek mythology) goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology
(Greek mythology) the goddess of youth and spring; wife of Hercules; daughter of Zeus and Hera; cupbearer to the Olympian gods
(Greek mythology) ancient god of the sun; drove his chariot across the sky each day; identified with Roman Sol
(Roman mythology) ancient Roman god; personification of the sun; counterpart of Greek Helios
(Greek mythology) Greek goddess of fertility who later became associated with Persephone as goddess of the underworld and protector of witches
(Greek mythology) the lame god of fire and metalworking in ancient mythology; identified with Roman Vulcan
(Roman mythology) god of fire and metal working; counterpart of Greek Hephaestus
(Greek mythology) messenger and herald of the gods; god of commerce and cunning and invention and theft; identified with Roman Mercury
(Greek mythology) son of Hermes and Aphrodite who merged with the nymph Salmacis to form one body
(Roman mythology) messenger of Jupiter and god of commerce; counterpart of Greek Hermes
(Greek mythology) the goddess of health; daughter of Aesculapius and sister of Panacea
(Greek mythology) the goddess of healing; daughter of Aesculapius and sister of Hygeia
queen of the Olympian gods in ancient Greek mythology; sister and wife of Zeus remembered for her jealously of the many mortal women Zeus fell in love with; identified with Roman Juno
(Roman mythology) the Roman god of doorways and passages; is depicted with two faces on opposite sides of his head
(Roman mythology) queen of the Olympian gods who protected marriage; wife and sister of Jupiter; counterpart of Greek Hera
(Greek mythology) the goddess of the hearth and its fire in ancient mythology; identified with Roman Vesta
(Roman mythology) goddess of the hearth and its fire whose flame was tended by vestal virgins; counterpart of Greek Hestia
(Greek mythology) the god of marriage
son of Zeus and Europa; king of ancient Crete; ordered Daedalus to build the labyrinth; after death Minos became a judge in the underworld
beautiful daughter of Minos and Pasiphae; she fell in love with Theseus and gave him the thread with which he found his way out of the Minotaur's labyrinth
the Greek goddess of fate who spins the thread of life
the Greek goddess of fate who determines the length of the thread of life
the Greek goddess of fate who cuts the thread of life
god of blame and mockery
(Greek mythology) the goddess of divine retribution and vengeance
(Greek mythology) a sea god son of Pontus and Gaea; lived in the depths of the sea with his wife Doris and their daughters the Nereids
(Greek mythology) winged goddess of victory; identified with Roman Victoria
(Roman mythology) goddess of victory; counterpart of Greek Nike
(Greek mythology) god of the heavens; son and husband of Gaea and father of the Titans in ancient mythology
goat god
(Greek mythology) god of fields and woods and shepherds and flocks; represented as a man with goat's legs and horns and ears; identified with Roman Sylvanus or Faunus
(Roman mythology) ancient rural deity; later considered a counterpart of Greek Pan
(Greek mythology) daughter of Helios and mother of Ariadne
(Greek mythology) the god of the sea and earthquakes in ancient mythology; brother of Zeus and Hades and Hera; identified with Roman Neptune
(Greek mythology) a prophetic god who served Poseidon; was capable of changing his shape at will
(Roman mythology) god of the sea; counterpart of Greek Poseidon
(Greek mythology) daughter of Zeus and Demeter; made queen of the underworld by Pluto in ancient mythology; identified with Roman Proserpina
goddess of the underworld; counterpart of Greek Persephone
(Greek mythology) son of Helios; killed when trying to drive his father's chariot and came too close to earth
(Greek mythology) the god of the underworld in ancient mythology; brother of Zeus and husband of Persephone
god of the underworld; counterpart of Greek Pluto
(Greek mythology) the priestess of Apollo at Delphi who transmitted the oracles
(classical mythology) god of male procreative power and guardian of gardens and vineyards
(Greek mythology) goddess of the Moon in ancient mythology; identified with Roman Luna
(Roman mythology) the goddess of the Moon; counterpart of Greek Selene
(Greek mythology) the winged goddess of the dawn in ancient mythology; daughter of Hyperion; identified with Roman Aurora
(Roman mythology) goddess of the dawn; counterpart of Greek Eos
(Roman mythology) goddess of the earth; protector of marriage and fertility; identified with Greek Gaea
(Greek mythology) any of the primordial giant gods who ruled the Earth until overthrown by Zeus; the Titans were offspring of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (Earth)
(Greek mythology) any of the primordial giant goddesses who were offspring of Uranus (heaven) and Gaea (earth) in ancient mythology
(Greek mythology) a sea god; son of Poseidon
(Greek mythology) the goddess of fortune; identified with Roman Fortuna
(Roman mythology) the goddess of fortune and good luck; counterpart of Greek Tyche
(Greek mythology) the Greek god of the west wind
(Greek mythology) the supreme god of ancient Greek mythology; son of Rhea and Cronus whom he dethroned; husband and brother of Hera; brother of Poseidon and Hades; father of many gods; counterpart of Roman Jupiter
(Roman mythology) supreme god of Romans; counterpart of Greek Zeus
(Roman mythology) goddess of abundance and fertility; wife of Saturn; counterpart of Greek Rhea and Cybele of ancient Asia Minor
(Roman mythology) god of woods and fields and flocks; Pan is the Greek counterpart
(Norse mythology) god of light and peace and noted for his beauty and sweet nature; son of Odin and Frigg and husband of Nanna; killed by Hoth
(Norse mythology) god of poetry and music; son of Odin
(Norse mythology) goddess of old age who defeated Thor in a wrestling match
(Norse mythology) god of justice; son of Balder and Nanna
(Norse mythology) god of earth's fertility and peace and prosperity; son of Njorth and brother of Freya; originally of the Vanir; later with the Aesir
(Norse mythology) goddess of love and fecundity; daughter of Njorth and sister of Frey
(Norse mythology) goddess of the heavens and married love; wife of Odin
(Norse mythology) god of dawn and light; guardian of Asgard
(Norse mythology) goddess of the dead and queen of the underworld
(Norse mythology) one of the Aesir having a strong and beautiful body but a dull mind
(Norse mythology) a blind god; misled by Loki, he kills his brother Balder by throwing a shaft of mistletoe
(Norse mythology) goddess of spring and wife of Bragi; guarded the apples that kept the gods eternally young
(Norse mythology) trickster; god of discord and mischief; contrived death of Balder and was overcome by Thor
(Norse mythology) chief of the Vanir; god of the sea and winds and prosperity; father of Frey and Freya; sometimes subsumes Teutonic Nerthus
(Norse mythology) ruler of the Aesir; supreme god of war and poetry and knowledge and wisdom (for which he gave an eye) and husband of Frigg; identified with the Teutonic Wotan
(Norse mythology) wife of Thor and guardian of the home
(Norse mythology) god of thunder and rain and farming; pictured as wielding a hammer emblematic of the thunderbolt; identified with Teutonic Donar
(Norse mythology) god of war and strife and son of Odin; identified with Anglo-Saxon Tiu
the Teutonic god of thunder; counterpart of Norse Thor
the Teutonic goddess of fertility; later identified with Norse Njord
supreme Teutonic god; counterpart of Norse Odin and Anglo-Saxon Woden
god of war and sky; counterpart of Norse Tyr
chief god; counterpart of Norse Odin and Teutonic Wotan
Mater Turrita
great nature goddess of ancient Phrygia in Asia Minor; counterpart of Greek Rhea and Roman Ops
evil spirit to whom Faust sold his soul
an Aztec deity represented as a plumed serpent
the Zoroastrian god of time
Saint Ambrose
(Roman Catholic Church) Roman priest who became bishop of Milan; the first Church Father born and raised in the Christian faith; composer of hymns; imposed orthodoxy on the early Christian church and built up its secular power; a saint and Doctor of the Church (340?-397)
Saint Andrew the Apostle
(New Testament) disciple of Jesus; brother of Peter; patron saint of Scotland
Saint Anselm
an Italian who was a Benedictine monk; was archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109; one of the founders of scholasticism; best known for his proof of the existence of God
Saint Thomas Aquinas
(Roman Catholic Church) Italian theologian and Doctor of the Church who is remembered for his attempt to reconcile faith and reason in a comprehensive theology; presented philosophical proofs of the existence of God (1225-1274)
Athanasius the Great
(Roman Catholic Church) Greek patriarch of Alexandria who championed Christian orthodoxy against Arianism; a church father, saint, and Doctor of the Church (293-373)
Augustine of Hippo
(Roman Catholic Church) one of the great Fathers of the early Christian church; after a dramatic conversion to Christianity he became bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa; St. Augustine emphasized man's need for grace (354-430)
St. Basil the Great
(Roman Catholic Church) the bishop of Caesarea who defended the Roman Catholic Church against the heresies of the 4th century; a saint and Doctor of the Church (329-379)
Saint Thomas a Becket
(Roman Catholic Church) archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 to 1170; murdered following his opposition to Henry II's attempts to control the clergy (1118-1170)
the Venerable Bede
(Roman Catholic Church) English monk and scholar (672-735)
Saint Benedict
Italian monk who founded the Benedictine order about 540 (480-547)
Apostle of Germany
(Roman Catholic Church) Anglo-Saxon missionary who was sent to Frisia and Germany to spread the Christian faith; was martyred in Frisia (680-754)
Saint Bridget
Irish abbess; a patron saint of Ireland (453-523)
Saint Bruno
(Roman Catholic Church) a French cleric (born in Germany) who founded the Carthusian order in 1084 (1032-1101)
Domingo de Guzman
(Roman Catholic Church) Spanish priest who founded an order whose members became known as Dominicans or Black Friars (circa 1170-1221)
Saint Edward the Confessor
son of Ethelred the Unready; King of England from 1042 to 1066; he founded Westminster Abbey where he was eventually buried (1003-1066)
Saint Edward the Martyr
King of England who was a son of Edgar; he was challenged for the throne by supporters of his half-brother Ethelred II who eventually murdered him (963-978)
Saint Francis of Assisi
(Roman Catholic Church) an Italian and the Roman Catholic monk who founded the Franciscan order of friars (1181-1226)
Gregory the Great
(Roman Catholic Church) an Italian pope distinguished for his spiritual and temporal leadership; a saint and Doctor of the Church (540?-604)
St. Gregory of Nazianzen
(Roman Catholic Church) a church father known for his constant fight against perceived heresies; a saint and Doctor of the Church (329-391)
Saint Ignatius
bishop of Antioch who was martyred under the Roman Emperor Trajan (died 110)
Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Spaniard and Roman Catholic theologian and founder of the Society of Jesus; a leading opponent of the Reformation (1491-1556)
Saint Irenaeus
Greek theologian who was bishop of Lyons and an antiheretical writer; a saint and Doctor of the Church (circa 130-200)
Saint James the Apostle
(New Testament) disciple of Jesus; brother of John; author of the Epistle of James in the New Testament
Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus
(Roman Catholic Church) one of the great Fathers of the early Christian Church whose major work was his translation of the Scriptures from Hebrew and Greek into Latin (which became the Vulgate); a saint and Doctor of the Church (347-420)
Saint John the Apostle
(New Testament) disciple of Jesus; traditionally said to be the author of the 4th Gospel and three epistles and the book of Revelation
St. John Chrysostom
(Roman Catholic Church) a Church Father who was a great preacher and bishop of Constantinople; a saint and Doctor of the Church (347-407)
St. John the Baptist
(New Testament) a preacher and hermit and forerunner of Jesus (whom he baptized); was beheaded by Herod at the request of Salome
Saint Jude
(New Testament) supposed brother of St. James; one of the Apostles who is invoked in prayer when a situation seems hopeless
Saint Lawrence
Roman martyr; supposedly Lawrence was ordered by the police to give up the church's treasure and when he responded by presenting the poor people of Rome he was roasted to death on a gridiron (died in 258)
Leo the Great
Italian pope from 440 to 461 who extended the authority of the papacy to the west and persuaded Attila not to attack Rome (440-461)
Saint Louis
king of France and son of Louis VIII; he led two unsuccessful Crusades; considered an ideal medieval king (1214-1270)
Saint Luke
(New Testament) the Apostle closely associated with St. Paul and traditionally assumed to be the author of the third Gospel
Saint Mark
Apostle and companion of Saint Peter; assumed to be the author of the second Gospel
St. Martin
French bishop who is a patron saint of France (died in 397)
St. Mary Magdalene
sinful woman Jesus healed of evil spirits; she became a follower of Jesus
Saint Matthew the Apostle
(New Testament) disciple of Jesus; traditionally considered to be the author of the first Gospel
Saint Nicholas
a bishop in Asia Minor who is associated with Santa Claus (4th century)
Saint Olaf
King and patron saint of Norway (995-1030)
Apostle of the Gentiles
(New Testament) a Christian missionary to the Gentiles; author of several Epistles in the New Testament; even though Paul was not present at the Last Supper he is considered an Apostle
Saint Peter the Apostle
disciple of Jesus and leader of the Apostles; regarded by Catholics as the vicar of Christ on earth and first Pope
Simon the Canaanite
one of the twelve Apostles (first century)
Saint Teresa of Avila
Spanish mystic and religious reformer; author of religious classics and a Christian saint (1515-1582)
Thomas the doubting Apostle
the Apostle who would not believe the resurrection of Jesus until he saw Jesus with his own eyes
St. Vitus
Christian martyr and patron of those who suffer from epilepsy and Sydenham's chorea (died around 300)
an avatar of Vishnu
the 10th and last incarnation of Vishnu
8th and most important avatar of Vishnu; incarnated as a handsome young man playing a flute
avatar of Vishnu whose name is synonymous with God; any of three incarnations: Ramachandra or Parashurama or Balarama
the chief satyr in the service of Bacchus; father of Dionysus; usually depicted as drunk and jolly and riding a donkey
(Greek mythology) the Muse of epic poetry
(Greek mythology) the Muse of history
(Greek mythology) the Muse of lyric and love poetry
(Greek mythology) the Muse of music (or the flute)
(Greek mythology) the Muse of tragedy
(Greek mythology) the Muse of singing and mime and sacred dance
(Greek mythology) the Muse of the dance and of choral song
(Greek mythology) the Muse of comedy and pastoral poetry
(Greek mythology) the Muse of astronomy
goddess of fate: a giantess who personified the past
goddess of fate: an elf who personified the present
goddess of fate: a dwarf who personified the future
Father Christmas
the legendary patron saint of children; an imaginary being who is thought to bring presents to children at Christmas
Saint Christopher
Christian martyr and patron saint of travellers (3rd century)
Saint Crispin
patron saint of shoemakers; he and his brother were martyred for trying to spread Christianity (3rd century)
Saint David
patron saint of Wales (circa 520-600)
Saint George
Christian martyr; patron saint of England; hero of the legend of Saint George and the Dragon in which he slew a dragon and saved a princess (?-303)
Saint Patrick
Apostle and patron saint of Ireland; an English missionary to Ireland in the 5th century
a Siren of German legend who lured boatmen in the Rhine to destruction
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article of faith, conviction, strong belief
an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence
faith, trust
complete confidence in a person or plan etc
doctrine, ism, philosophical system, philosophy, school of thought
a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation
expectation, outlook, prospect
belief about (or mental picture of) the future
fetichism, fetishism
a belief in the magical power of fetishes (or the worship of a fetish)
the belief that all human characteristics are determined genetically
the belief that the world can be made better by human effort
opinion, persuasion, sentiment, thought, view
a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty
belief that a work of art is an end in itself or its own justification
the belief that the United States Constitution should be interpreted in the way the authors originally intended it
pacificism, pacifism
the belief that all international disputes can be settled by arbitration
faith, religion, religious belief
a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny
opinion, popular opinion, public opinion, vox populi
a belief or sentiment shared by most people; the voice of the people
a belief in the spread of revolutionary principles
a belief that priests can act as mediators between human beings and God
the belief that the spirits of dead people can communicate with people who are still alive (especially via a medium)
spiritual domain, spiritual world, unseen
a belief that there is a realm controlled by a divine spirit
the belief that the right to vote should be extended (as to women)
a belief in forces beyond ordinary human understanding
superstition, superstitious notion
an irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear
the belief that some particular group or race is superior to all others
a belief that can guide behavior
belief in theosophy
the organized beliefs of a period or group or individual
belief in the kinship of a group of people with a common totem
the beliefs of a tribal society
beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something)
belief in the existence of vampires
a belief in the importance of the individual and the virtue of self-reliance and personal independence
spiritual being, supernatural being
an incorporeal being believed to have powers to affect the course of human events
nuclear deterrence
the military doctrine that an enemy will be deterred from using nuclear weapons as long as he can be destroyed as a consequence
a personal view
judgement, judgment, mind
an opinion formed by judging something
the religious belief that God cannot be known but is completely `other' and must be described in negative terms (in terms of what God is not)
the religious belief that God has given enough clues to be known to humans positively and affirmatively (e.g., God created Adam `in his own image')
analogy, doctrine of analogy
the religious belief that between creature and creator no similarity can be found so great but that the dissimilarity is always greater; any analogy between God and humans will always be inadequate
cult, cultus, religious cult
a system of religious beliefs and rituals
a religion or sect that is generally considered to be unorthodox, extremist, or false
religion appropriate to a church and to ecclesiastical principles and practices
mysticism, religious mysticism
a religion based on mystical communion with an ultimate reality
nature worship
a system of religion that deifies and worships natural forces and phenomena
revealed religion
a religion founded primarily on the revelations of God to humankind
opinion or judgment
parti pris, preconceived idea, preconceived notion, preconceived opinion, preconception, prepossession
an opinion formed beforehand without adequate evidence
one of two divergent or mutually exclusive opinions
hope, promise
grounds for feeling hopeful about the future
an early limited awareness of something yet to occur
a future prospect or potential
anticipation, expectancy
something expected (as on the basis of a norm)
apprehension, misgiving
painful expectation
(ethics) the theory that the pursuit of your own welfare in the basis of morality
hodgepodge, jumble, patchwork
a theory or argument made up of miscellaneous or incongruous ideas
Cabalism, Kabbalism
the doctrines of the Kabbalah
the prevailing current of thought
the doctrine that calls for the abolition of slavery
the doctrine of an absolute being
the doctrine that moral distinctions are invalid
the doctrine that human beings are purely animal in nature and lacking a spiritual nature
the doctrine that all natural objects and the universe itself have souls
antiestablishmentarianism, antiestablishmentism
the doctrine of opposition to the social and political establishment
the doctrine that through renunciation of worldly pleasures it is possible to achieve a high spiritual or intellectual state
any doctrine emphasizing the importance of the context in solving problems or establishing the meaning of terms
the literal belief in the account of Creation given in the Book of Genesis
credo, creed
any system of principles or beliefs
divine right, divine right of kings
the doctrine that kings derive their right to rule directly from God and are not accountable to their subjects; rebellion is the worst of political crimes
a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative
the doctrine that reality consists of two basic opposing elements, often taken to be mind and matter (or mind and body), or good and evil
any of the various theories or doctrines or philosophical systems that attempt to explain the phenomena of the universe in terms of some immanent force or energy
a doctrine of hedonism that was defended by several ancient Greek philosophers
establishmentarianism, establishmentism
the doctrine of supporting the social or political establishment
a doctrine that ethics and ethical ideas are valid and important
the doctrine of expanding the territory or the economic influence of a country
the doctrine that formal structure rather than content is what should be represented
any doctrine that stresses utility or purpose
the doctrine of the Girondists
a doctrine that is believed to be of great importance
the doctrine of a sect of Hindu philosophers who practiced nudity and asceticism and meditation
the doctrine that representations of nature or human behavior should be accurate imitations
individualism, laissez faire
the doctrine that government should not interfere in commercial affairs
rugged individualism
individualism in social and economic affairs; belief not only in personal liberty and self-reliance but also in free competition
the doctrine that nations should cooperate because their common interests are more important than their differences
the doctrine that nations should conduct their foreign affairs individualistically without the advice or involvement of other nations
irredentism, irridentism
the doctrine that irredenta should be controlled by the country to which they are ethnically or historically related
the doctrine of realistic (literal) portrayal in art or literature
democracy, majority rule
the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group
the doctrine that reality consists of a single basic substance or element
the doctrine that several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can coexist peacefully and equitably in a single country
the doctrine that your national culture and interests are superior to any other
the doctrine that nations should act independently (rather than collectively) to attain their goals
a revolutionary doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system for its own sake
pacificism, pacifism, passivism
the doctrine that all violence is unjustifiable
the doctrine that reality consists of several basic substances or elements
the political doctrine that supports the rights and powers of the common people in their struggle with the privileged elite
the doctrine that the Scripture prophecies of the Apocalypse (as in the Book of Revelations) are presently in the course of being fulfilled
freethinking, rationalism
the doctrine that reason is the right basis for regulating conduct
a doctrine of reform
humanism, secular humanism
the doctrine emphasizing a person's capacity for self-realization through reason; rejects religion and the supernatural
humanism, humanitarianism
the doctrine that people's duty is to promote human welfare
egalitarianism, equalitarianism
the doctrine of the equality of mankind and the desirability of political and economic and social equality
a doctrine that advocates equal rights for women
magic, thaumaturgy
any art that invokes supernatural powers
a belief in supernatural powers and the possibility of bringing them under human control
a doctrine that on the death of the body the soul migrates to or is born again in another body
a doctrine that maintains the right of secession
a doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations
dispossession, exorcism
freeing from evil spirits
political sympathies, politics
the opinion you hold with respect to political questions
a philosophical doctrine proposed by Edmund Husserl based on the study of human experience in which considerations of objective reality are not taken into account
philosophical doctrine, philosophical theory
a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy
states' rights
a doctrine that federal powers should be curtailed and returned to the individual states
commandment, precept, teaching
a doctrine that is taught
theological doctrine
the doctrine of a religious group
doctrine that the useful is the good; especially as elaborated by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill; the aim was said to be the greatest happiness for the greatest number
the doctrine or belief in the existence of a God or gods
heathenism, pagan religion, paganism
any of various religions other than Christianity or Judaism or Islamism
Christian religion, Christianity
a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior
Hindooism, Hinduism
a body of religious and philosophical beliefs and cultural practices native to India and based on a caste system; it is characterized by a belief in reincarnation, by a belief in a supreme being of many forms and natures, by the view that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal truth, and by a desire for liberation from earthly evils
Brahmanism, Brahminism
the religious beliefs of ancient India as prescribed in the sacred Vedas and Brahmanas and Upanishads
religion founded in the 6th century BC as a revolt against Hinduism; emphasizes asceticism and immortality and transmigration of the soul; denies existence of a perfect or supreme being
the doctrines of a monotheistic religion founded in northern India in the 16th century by Guru Nanak and combining elements of Hinduism and Islam
the teaching of Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct and wisdom and meditation releases one from desire and suffering and rebirth
Hsuan Chiao, Taoism
popular Chinese philosophical system based in teachings of Lao-tzu but characterized by a pantheism of many gods and the practices of alchemy and divination and magic
Shinto, Shintoism
the ancient indigenous religion of Japan lacking formal dogma; characterized by a veneration of nature spirits and of ancestors
Manichaeanism, Manichaeism
a religion founded by Manes in the third century; a synthesis of Zoroastrian dualism between light and dark and Babylonian folklore and Buddhist ethics and superficial elements of Christianity; spread widely in the Roman Empire but had largely died out by 1000
Mithraicism, Mithraism
ancient Persian religion; popular among Romans during first three centuries a.d.
Mazdaism, Zoroastrianism
system of religion founded in Persia in the 6th century BC by Zoroaster; set forth in the Zend-Avesta; based on concept of struggle between light (good) and dark (evil)
a religion founded in Iran in 1863; emphasizes the spiritual unity of all humankind; incorporates Christian and Islamic tenets; many adherents live in the United States
Asian shamanism, shamanism
an animistic religion of northern Asia having the belief that the mediation between the visible and the spirit worlds is effected by shamans
any animistic religion similar to Asian shamanism (especially as practiced by certain Native American tribes)
the polytheistic nature religion of modern witchcraft whose central deity is a mother goddess; claims origins in pre-Christian pagan religions of western Europe
the conviction that people should participate in sports as a hobby (for the fun of it) rather than for money
(linguistics) a doctrine supporting or promoting descriptive linguistics
(ethics) a doctrine holding that moral statements have a truth value
(linguistics) a doctrine supporting or promoting prescriptive linguistics
(ethics) a doctrine holding that moral statements prescribe appropriate attitudes and behavior
church doctrine, creed, gospel, religious doctrine
the written body of teachings of a religious group that are generally accepted by that group
Kingdom of God
the spiritual domain over which God is sovereign
deity, divinity, god, immortal
any supernatural being worshipped as controlling some part of the world or some aspect of life or who is the personification of a force
aeon, eon
(Gnosticism) a divine power or nature emanating from the Supreme Being and playing various roles in the operation of the universe
spiritual being attendant upon God
faerie, faery, fairy, fay, sprite
a small being, human in form, playful and having magical powers
disembodied spirit, spirit
any incorporeal supernatural being that can become visible (or audible) to human beings
a mischievous supernatural being found in the folklore of many primitive people; sometimes distinguished by prodigious biological drives and exaggerated bodily parts
(New Testament) in Revelations it is foretold that those faithful to Jesus will reign with Jesus over the earth for a thousand years; the meaning of these words have been much debated; some denominations (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses) expect it to be a thousand years of justice and peace and happiness
Type of:
cognitive content, content, mental object
the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned

n a vague idea in which some confidence is placed

“it strengthened my belief in his sincerity”
feeling, impression, notion, opinion
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the impression that something is present
an impression (especially one that is artificial or contrived)
first blush
at the first glimpse or impression
hunch, intuition, suspicion
an impression that something might be the case
sound effect
an effect that imitates a sound called for in the script of a play
special effect
an effect used to produce scenes that cannot be achieved by normal techniques (especially on film)
bosom, heart
the locus of feelings and intuitions
Type of:
idea, thought
the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about

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