If you believe something, you think it’s true. If you are easily duped then you might believe your little sister when she says a thief broke into the house and ate all your candy.

Believe comes from old German words meaning to have trust. Belief doesn’t require proof, just acceptance. If you’re on a jury and the prosecution and defense present two different versions of what happened, you have to decide which side you believe. To believe can also mean having confidence. If you believe in me, it doesn’t mean that you think I’m real (unless I’m a ghost). It means you think I can do what I set out to do.

Definitions of believe
  1. verb
    accept as true; take to be true
    “I believed his report”
    “We didn't believe his stories from the War”
    “She believes in spirits”
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    disbelieve, discredit
    reject as false; refuse to accept
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    infer, understand
    believe to be the case
    believe or accept without questioning or challenge
    accept as true
    bank, rely, swear, trust
    have confidence or faith in
    believe in
    have a firm conviction as to the goodness of something
    have trust in; trust in the truth or veracity of
    hold a false or unorthodox belief
    lean, rely
    rely on for support
    bet, calculate, count, depend, look, reckon
    have faith or confidence in
    type of:
    consider or hold as true
  2. verb
    be confident about something
    “I believe that he will come back from the war”
    synonyms: trust
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    type of:
    anticipate, expect
    regard something as probable or likely
  3. verb
    credit with veracity
    “You cannot believe this man”
    “Should we believe a publication like the National Enquirer?”
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    type of:
    have trust in; trust in the truth or veracity of
  4. verb
    follow a credo; have a faith; be a believer
    “When you hear his sermons, you will be able to believe, too”
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    hold a false or unorthodox belief
  5. verb
    judge or regard; look upon; judge
    “I believe her to be very smart”
    synonyms: conceive, consider, think
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    remain committed to
    change one's mind
    dispose the mind in a certain way
    esteem, look on, look upon, perceive, regard as, repute, take to be, think of
    look on as or consider
    have a feeling or perception about oneself in reaction to someone's behavior or attitude
    consider, reckon, regard, see, view
    deem to be
    consider reasonable or due
    regard favorably or with disapproval
    consider again; give new consideration to; usually with a view to changing
    consider again (a bill) that had been voted upon before, with a view to altering it
    consider as part of something
    modify one's opinion, make it less strong
    change one's mind and assume the opposite viewpoint
    regard or treat with consideration, respect, and esteem
    consider or regard as being
    feel about or towards; consider, evaluate, or regard
    relativise, relativize
    consider or treat as relative
    consider (oneself) as similar to somebody else
    favor, favour
    consider as the favorite
    consider a concept without thinking of a specific example; consider abstractly or theoretically
    consider an abstract concept to be real
    idealise, idealize
    consider or render as ideal
    deem, hold, take for, view as
    keep in mind or convey as a conviction or view
    esteem, prise, prize, respect, value
    regard highly; think much of
    disesteem, disrespect
    have little or no respect for; hold in contempt
    consider as being
    capitalise, capitalize
    consider expenditures as capital assets rather than expenses
    appreciate, prize, treasure, value
    hold dear
    type of:
    evaluate, judge, pass judgment
    form a critical opinion of
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