Be*lief" (?), n. [OE. bileafe, bileve; cf. AS. gele�xa0;fa. See Believe.]


Assent to a proposition or affirmation, or the acceptance of a fact, opinion, or assertion as real or true, without immediate personal knowledge; reliance upon word or testimony; partial or full assurance without positive knowledge or absolute certainty; persuasion; conviction; confidence; as, belief of a witness; the belief of our senses.

Belief admits of all degrees, from the slightest suspicion to the fullest assurance. Reid.

2. Theol.

A persuasion of the truths of religion; faith.

No man can attain [to] belief by the bare contemplation of heaven and earth. Hooker.


The thing believed; the object of belief.

Superstitious prophecies are not only the belief of fools, but the talk sometimes of wise men. Bacon.


A tenet, or the body of tenets, held by the advocates of any class of views; doctrine; creed.

In the heat of persecution to which Christian belief was subject upon its first promulgation. Hooker.

Ultimate belief, a first principle incapable of proof; an intuitive truth; an intuition.

Sir W. Hamilton.

Syn. -- Credence; trust; reliance; assurance; opinion.


© Webster 1913.