Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1828)
Believe, verb transitive.
Believe, verb intransitive.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
Imp. and p.p. Believed; p.pr. and vb.n. Believing.
Origin: OE. bileven (with pref. be- for AS. ge-), fr. AS. gelfan, gelfan; akin to D. gelooven, OHG. gilouban, G. glauben, OS. gilbian, Goth. galaubjan, and Goth. liubs dear.
Be-lieve, verb transitive.
Be-lieve, verb intransitive.
To believe in.
Webster's Universal Dictionary (1937)
Origin: Middle English faith, feith; Old French feid; Latin fides, faith, belief, trust, from fidere, to trust, confide in.
Syn: Belief, trust, confidence, credence, fidelity, conviction, creed, tenets, doctrine, opinion.
Hyphenation: be-lieve (7 letters, 2 syllables).
First Known Use in English: 1549 (European Renaissance).
Word Origins: Old English.
Inflected Forms: Believed, believing, believes.
Synonyms: Conceive, consider, think, trust.
Narrower Terms: Bank, believe, believe in, buy, infer, rely, swallow, swear, trust, understand, consider, esteem, feel, hold, look on.
Broader Terms: Accept, evaluate, judge, pass judgment, anticipate, expect, believe, credit
Rhymes: Achieve, aggrieve, bereave, cleave, conceive, deceive, disbelieve, greave, grieve, heave, interleave, interweave, leave, misconceive, misperceive. achieve | aggrieve | bereave | cleave | conceive | deceive | disbelieve | greave | grieve | heave | interleave | interweave | leave | misconceive | misperceive | ... (total: 29) (based on typical American pronunciation)
Oxford English Dictionary
|Full Texts of Selected References|
Prov. 14:15--The simple (Akakos) believes (pistEUei) every word (panTI LOgo-): but the prudent man (panOURgos) betakes himself to after-thought (meTAnoian). (BLXX)
Prov. 26:25--When he (your enemy) speaks kindly, do not (me-) believe (peisTHE-S) him,
Habakkuk 1:5--Behold, ye despisers, and look, and wonder marvellously (thauMAsate thauMAsia), and vanish: for I work a work in your days, which ye will in no wise believe (ho ou me- pistEUse-te), though a man declare it to you. (BLXX)
Mat. 9:28--When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe (pisTEUete) that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. (NIV)
Mark 11:22-23--"Have faith (PIStin) in God," Jesus answered.
"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt (diakriTHE-) in his heart but believes (pisTEUse-) that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. (NIV)
John 9:18--The Jews therefore did not believe (ouk ePISteusan) concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight (WEB)
Rom. 14:2--One believes (pisTEUei) he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables.
Let not him who eats despise (exoutheNEIto-) him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on (kriNEto-) him who eats; for God has welcomed him. (RSV)
Rom. 15:13--May the God of hope (elPIdos) fill you with all joy (charAS) and peace (eiRE-ne-s) as you trust in him (en to- pistEUein), so that you may overflow with hope (elPIdi) by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)
1 John 4:1--My dear friends (agape-TOI), don’t believe (pisTEUete) everything (panTI) you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world. (Mes)
1 John 4:16--So we know and believe (pepiSTEUkamen) the love (aGApe-n) God has for us. God is love (aGApe-), and he who abides (ho MEno-n) in love (aGApe-) abides (MEnei) in God, and God abides (MEnei) in him. (RSV)
|Other Ancient Sources|
Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-c. 215 AD)--Faith is a voluntary anticipation, the assent of piety. However, the Greeks disparage faith, considering it futile
Faith is something superior to knowledge and is its criterion. Conjecture, which is only a feeble supposition, is a counterfeit faith.
Now he is faithful who keeps inviolably what is entrusted to him.
We have discovered faith to be the first movement towards salvation. After faith, fear, hope, and repentance (accompanied by temperance and patience) lead us to love and knowledge.
We say, then, that faith must not be inert and alone. Rather, it should be accompanied with investigation. For I do not say that we are not to inquire at all.
Trusting is more than faith. For when one has believed that the Son of God is our Teacher, he trusts that His teaching is true.
Faith, so to speak, is a comprehensive knowledge of the essentials. And knowledge is the strong and sure demonstration of what is received by faith. It is built upon faith by the Lord's teaching.
In my opinion, the faith they possessed was firm, for it was followed by works of faith.
Origen (184/185-253/254)--Who enters on a voyage, contracts a marriage, becomes the father of children, or sows seed into the ground--without believing that better things will result from doing so? ... If the hope and belief of a better future is the support of life in every uncertain enterprise, ... why should not this faith rather be rationally accepted by him who believes on better grounds ... in the existence of a God who was the Creator of all these things?
Cyprian (c. 200-258)--[WRITTEN TO CHRISTIANS FACING MARTYRDOM:] It is written that the just live by faith. If you are just and live by faith--if you truly believe in Christ--why do you not embrace the assurance that you are called to Christ? Why do you not rejoice that you are freed from the devil? For you are about to be with Christ and are secure of the Lord's promise.
St. John Chrysostom (347-407)--"Believeth all things." "For it doth not merely hope," saith he, "but also believeth from its great affection."
Augustine (354-430)--Since faith, then, is in our power, inasmuch as every one believes when he likes, and, when he believes, believes voluntarily; our next inquiry, which we must conduct with care, is, What faith it is which the apostle commends with so much earnestness? For indiscriminate faith is not good. Accordingly we find this caution: “Brethren, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.” Nor must the clause in commendation of love, that it “believeth all things,” be so understood as if we should detract from the love of any one, if he refuses to believe at once what he hears. For the same love admonishes us that we ought not readily to believe anything evil about a brother; and when anything of the kind is said of him, does it not judge it to be more suitable to its character not to believe? Lastly, the same love, “which believeth all things,” does not believe every spirit. Accordingly, charity believes all things no doubt, but it believes in God. Observe, it is not said, Believes in all things. It cannot therefore be doubted that the faith which is commended by the apostle is the faith whereby we believe in God.
Augustine--What then have I to do with men, that they should hear my confessions—as if they could heal all my infirmities—a race, curious to know the lives of others, slothful to amend their own? Why seek they to hear from me what I am; who will not hear from Thee what themselves are? And how know they, when from myself they hear of myself, whether I say true; seeing no man knows what is in man, but the spirit of man which is in him? But if they hear from Thee of themselves, they cannot say, “The Lord lieth.” For what is it to hear from Thee of themselves, but to know themselves? and who knoweth and saith, “It is false,” unless himself lieth? But because charity believeth all things (that is, among those whom knitting unto itself it maketh one), I also, O Lord, will in such wise confess unto Thee, that men may hear, to whom I cannot demonstrate whether I confess truly; yet they believe me, whose ears charity openeth unto me.
|Back to Study Love Main Index|