Definition of belief noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//bɪˈliːf//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bɪˈliːf//
    Types of belief
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  1. 1  [uncountable] belief (in something/somebody) a strong feeling that something/somebody exists or is true; confidence that something/somebody is good or right I admire his passionate belief in what he is doing. belief in God/democracy The incident has shaken my belief (= made me have less confidence) in the police. See related entries: Types of belief
  2. 2  [singular, uncountable] belief (that…) an opinion about something; something that you think is true She acted in the belief that she was doing good. Contrary to popular belief (= in spite of what people may think), he was not responsible for the tragedy. There is a general belief that things will soon get better.
  3. 3  [countable, usually plural] something that you believe, especially as part of your religion religious/political beliefs A society should be judged on its beliefs and values.
  4. compare disbelief, unbelief
    Word OriginMiddle English: alteration of Old English gelēafa; compare with believe.Extra examples Contrary to popular belief, deserts are not always hot. Contrary to popular belief, rainforests are not jungles through which you have to slash a path. Each religion has its set of beliefs. He shared his father’s belief that people should work hard for their living. He tried to impose his beliefs on other people. Here the apostle Peter affirms his belief that the scriptures are ‘inspired’. I have very firm beliefs about moral issues. I think the rights and wrongs of eating meat are a matter of personal belief. I took the job in the mistaken belief that I would be able to stay in London. It beggars belief how things could have got this bad. She clung to the belief that he would come back to her. She did it in the belief that it would help her career. She has lost her belief in God. She was strict with her children in the genuine belief that it was the right thing to do. The Labour Party must stick to its beliefs. The child’s death shook her belief in God. The exam results encouraged the belief that he was a good teacher. The people still follow their traditional beliefs. There is a belief among young people that education is a waste of time. They had a shared belief in the power of education. They were persecuted for their religious beliefs. This latest evidence strengthens our belief that the government is doing the right thing. You must respect other people’s beliefs. a belief in God an attempt to reconcile apparently opposite beliefs beliefs about the origin of the universe the basic beliefs of Christianity Belief in God is more than a matter of logic. Contrary to popular belief he was not involved in the affair. He insisted that giving blood was against his religious beliefs. It’s my belief that she’s telling the truth. People who did not subscribe to the dominant beliefs of society were widely persecuted. She acted in the belief that she was doing the right thing. The beliefs of a minority have come to dominate the political agenda. The incident has shaken my belief in the police. Those holding Socialist beliefs were expelled from the organization. We remain united in our belief in democracy. You need to examine your own attitudes and beliefs.Idioms
    beggar belief/description
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    to be too extreme, shocking, etc. to believe/describe It beggars belief how things could have got this bad.
    (in a way that is) too great, difficult, etc. to be believed Dissatisfaction with the government has grown beyond belief. icy air that was cold beyond belief It is beyond belief that anyone could commit such a crime.
    to the best of your knowledge/belief
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    as far as you know He never made a will, to the best of my knowledge.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: belief

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