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 Dictionary entry overview: What does belief mean? 

BELIEF (noun)
  The noun BELIEF has 2 senses:

1. any cognitive content held as true
2. a vague idea in which some confidence is placed

  Familiarity information: BELIEF used as a noun is rare.

 Dictionary entry details 

BELIEF (noun)

Sense 1belief [BACK TO TOP]


Any cognitive content held as true

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents

Hypernyms ("belief" is a kind of...):

cognitive content; content; mental object (the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "belief"):

supremacism (the belief that some particular group or race is superior to all others)

superstition; superstitious notion (an irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear)

supernaturalism (a belief in forces beyond ordinary human understanding)

suffragism (the belief that the right to vote should be extended (as to women))

spiritual world; unseen (a belief that there is a realm controlled by a divine spirit)

spiritualism (the belief that the spirits of dead people can communicate with people who are still alive (especially via a medium))

theory (a belief that can guide behavior)

theosophism (belief in theosophy)

thought (the organized beliefs of a period or group or individual)

totemism (belief in the kinship of a group of people with a common totem)

tribalism (the beliefs of a tribal society)

values (beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something))

vampirism (belief in the existence of vampires)

individualism (a belief in the importance of the individual and the virtue of self-reliance and personal independence)

sacerdotalism (a belief that priests can act as mediators between human beings and God)

revolutionism (a belief in the spread of revolutionary principles)

article of faith; conviction; strong belief (an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence)

faith; trust (complete confidence in a person or plan etc)

doctrine; ism; philosophical system; philosophy; school of thought (a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school)

philosophy (any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation)

expectation; outlook; prospect (belief about (or mental picture of) the future)

fetichism; fetishism (a belief in the magical power of fetishes (or the worship of a fetish))

geneticism (the belief that all human characteristics are determined genetically)

meliorism (the belief that the world can be made better by human effort)

opinion; persuasion; sentiment; thought; view (a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty)

autotelism (belief that a work of art is an end in itself or its own justification)

originalism (the belief that the United States Constitution should be interpreted in the way the authors originally intended it)

pacificism; pacifism (the belief that all international disputes can be settled by arbitration)

faith; religion; religious belief (a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny)

opinion; popular opinion; public opinion; vox populi (a belief or sentiment shared by most people; the voice of the people)

spiritual being; supernatural being (an incorporeal being believed to have powers to affect the course of human events)


unbelief (a rejection of belief)

Sense 2belief [BACK TO TOP]


A vague idea in which some confidence is placed

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents


impression; notion; belief; feeling; opinion

Context examples:

his impression of her was favorable / what are your feelings about the crisis? / it strengthened my belief in his sincerity / I had a feeling that she was lying

Hypernyms ("belief" is a kind of...):

idea; thought (the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "belief"):

presence (the impression that something is present)

effect (an impression (especially one that is artificial or contrived))

first blush (at the first glimpse or impression)

hunch; intuition; suspicion (an impression that something might be the case)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
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"Necessity teaches the naked woman to spin (a yarn)." (Danish proverb)

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