Definition of believe verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    believe

     verb
    verb
    NAmE//bɪˈliv//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they believe
     
    he / she / it believes
     
    past simple believed
     
     
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  1. 1(not used in the progressive tenses)
  2. feel certain
  3. 2 [transitive] to feel certain that something is true or that someone is telling you the truth believe somebody I don't believe you! The man claimed to be a social worker and the old woman believed him. Believe me, she's not right for you. believe something I believed his lies for years. I find that hard to believe. Don't believe a word of it (= don't believe any part of what someone is saying). believe (that)… People used to believe (that) the earth was flat. He refused to believe (that) his son was taking drugs. I do believe you're right (= I think something is true, even though it is surprising).
  4. think possible
  5. 3 [intransitive, transitive] to think that something is true or possible, although you are not completely certain “Where does she come from?” “Spain, I believe.” “Does he still work there?” “Ibelieve so/not.” believe (that)… Police believe (that) the man may be armed. it is believed (that)… It is believed that the couple has left the country. believe somebody/something to be, have, etc. something The vases are believed to be worth over $20,000 each. believe somebody/something + adj. Three sailors are missing, believed drowned. Thesaurusthinkbelieve feel be under the impressionThese words all mean to have an idea that something is true or possible or to have a particular opinion about someone or something.think to have an idea that something is true or possible, although you are not completely certain; to have a particular opinion about someone or something:Do you think (that) they'll come? What do you think about Matt's new girlfriend?believe to have an idea that something is true or possible, although you are not completely certain; to have a particular opinion about someone or something:Police believe (that) the man may be armed.think or believe?When you are expressing an idea that you have or that someone has of what is true or possible, believe is more formal than think. It is used especially for talking about ideas that other people have;think is used more often for talking about your own ideas:Police believe… I think…When you are expressing an opinion, believe is stronger than think and is used especially for matters of principle;think is used more for practical matters or matters of personal taste.feel to have a particular opinion about something that has happened or about what you/someone ought to do:We all felt (that) we had been cheated.be under the impression that… to have an idea that something is true:I was under the impression that the work had already been completed.Patterns to think/believe/feel/be under the impression that… It is thought/believed/felt >that…> to be thought/believed/felt >to be>something to think/believe/feel something about somebody/something to sincerely/honestly/seriously/mistakenly think/believe/feel
  6. have opinion
  7. 4 [transitive] believe (that)… to have the opinion that something is right or true The candidate believes (that) education is the most important issue facing the government. She believes that killing animals for food or fur is completely immoral. Language Bankaccording toreporting someone's opinionPhotography is, according to Vidal, the art form of untalented people.For Vidal, photography is the art form of untalented people.His view is that photography is not art but merely the mechanical reproduction of images.Smith takes the view that photography is both an art and a science.In Brown's view, photography should be treated as a legitimate art in its own right.James is of the opinion that a good painter can always be a good photographer if he or she so decides.Emerson believed that a photograph should reflect only what the human eye can see. Language Bankopiniongiving your personal opinion In my opinion, everyone should have some understanding of science. Everyone should, in my opinion, have some understanding of science. It seems to me that many people in this country have a flawed understanding of science. This is, in my view, the result of a failure of the scientific community to get its message across. Another reason why so many people have such a poor understanding of science is, I believe, the lack of adequate funding for science in schools. Smith argues that science is separate from culture. My own view is that science belongs with literature, art, philosophy, and religion as an integral part of our culture. In this writer's opinion, the more the public knows about science, the less they will fear and distrust it.
  8. be surprised/annoyed
  9. 5[transitive] don't/can't believe used to say that you are surprised or annoyed at something believe (that)… She couldn't believe (that) it was all happening again. I don't believe I'm doing this! believe how, what, etc… I can't believe how much better I feel.
  10. religion
  11. 6[intransitive] to have a religious faith The god appears only to those who believe.
  12. Idioms
    believe it or not(informal)
     
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    used to introduce information that is true but that may surprise people Believe it or not, he asked me to marry him!
    believe (you) me(informal)
     
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    used to emphasize that you strongly believe what you are saying You haven't heard the last of this, believe you me!
    don't you believe it!(informal)
     
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    used to tell someone that something is definitely not true “She wouldn't do a thing like that.” “Don't you believe it!”
    give somebody to believe/understand (that)…[often passive](formal)
     
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    to make someone believe/understand something I was given to understand that she had resigned.
    I don't believe it!(informal)
     
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    used to say that you are surprised or annoyed about something I don't believe it! What are you doing here?
    if you believe that, you'll believe anything(informal)
     
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    used to say that you think someone is stupid if they believe that something is true “He promised not to do it again.” “Sure, and if you believe that, you'll believe anything.”
    make believe (that…)
     
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    to pretend that something is true related noun make-believe
    not believe your ears/eyes(informal)
     
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    to be very surprised at something you hear/see I couldn't believe my eyes when she walked in.
    seeing is believing(saying)
     
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    used to say that someone will have to believe that something is true when they see it, although they do not think it is true now
    would you believe (it)?(informal)
     
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    used to show that you are surprised and annoyed about something And, would you believe, he didn't even apologize!
    you/you'd better believe it!(informal)
     
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    used to tell someone that something is definitely true “He's not a bad player, is he?” “You'd better believe it!”
    Phrasal Verbsbelieve in somebody/somethingbelieve in somebodybelieve in somethingbelieve something of somebody
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: believe