Meaning of “believe” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"believe" in British English

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believeverb [ T ]

uk /bɪˈliːv/ us /bɪˈliːv/

A2 to think that something is true, correct, or real:

Strangely, no one believed us when we told them we'd been visited by a creature from Mars.
[ + that ] He believes that all children are born with equal intelligence.
She's arriving tomorrow, I believe.
"Is she coming alone?" "We believe not/so (= we think she is not/is)."
[ + obj + to infinitive ] I believe her to be the finest violinist in the world.
[ + obj + adj ] All the crew are missing, believed dead.
not believe a word of it

to not believe that something is true:

He told me she was just a friend, but I don't believe a word of it!
believe it or not B1 also would you believe it?

said when telling someone about something that is true, although it seems unlikely:

He's upstairs doing his homework, believe it or not.
believe me

said when emphasizing that something is true:

Believe me, I was scared !
if you believe that, you'll believe anything! informal

something that you say to emphasize that something is obviously not true:

He said the car in front backed into him, and if you believe that, you'll believe anything!
make believe

to pretend or imagine:

Let's make believe (that) we're pirates.
See also

More examples

  • He claims to have met the president, but I don't believe him.
  • I still believe that people are fundamentally good.
  • I don't believe that story for a moment.
  • It's hard to believe there's anything wrong with him - he looks so healthy.
  • I don't believe they should have put him in prison. It isn't right.

(Definition of “believe” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"believe" in American English

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believeverb [ I/T ]

us /bɪˈliv/

to think that something is true or correct:

[ T ] One juror said he didn’t believe the policeman’s testimony.
[ + (that) clause ] She believed (that) it was wrong to censor the text.

If you believe in something, you feel that it is right:

[ I always + adv/prep ] I believe in giving a person a second chance.

If you believe in someone you have confidence in that person's abilities:

[ I always + adv/prep ] We just need to believe in ourselves.

(Definition of “believe” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)