American English

Definition of belief noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] belief (in something/somebody) a strong feeling that something or someone exists or is true; confidence that something or someone 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.
  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. compare disbelief, unbelief
  4. Idioms
    beggar belief/description
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    to be too extreme, shocking, etc. to believe/describe It beggars belief how things could have gotten this bad.
    beyond belief
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    (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 Learner's Dictionary entry: belief

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