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believe - definition and synonyms

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verb     believe pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlebelieving
past tensebelieved
past participlebelieved
  1. 1
    [transitive] to think that a fact is true

    Astronomers knew the Earth was round, but few people believed it.

    believe (that):

    I don’t believe that she’s ever been to Hong Kong.

    be widely/generally believed (=be believed by a lot of people):

    It is widely believed that the virus originally came from monkeys.

    find it hard/difficult to believe:

    She found it hard to believe that he was a real businessman.

    I would never have believed:

    I would never have believed such a place existed if I hadn’t seen it for myself.

    1. a.
      to think that what someone has said is true

      He told me his version of events, but I didn’t believe a word of it.

      “I did pay the money back!” “OK, OK – I believe you!”

      The police didn’t believe her story.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to have an opinion about what is true or what might happen, although there is no proof
    believe (that):

    Scientists believe a cure for the disease will be discovered soon.

    reason to believe:

    There is no reason to believe that he is not telling the truth.

    honestly/truly believe:

    I honestly believe he really loved her.

    believe someone (to be) something:

    His friends wouldn’t believe him to be capable of murder.

    lead someone to believe something (=make someone think something):

    We were led to believe we could make a large profit.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to have a religious belief

    Do you still believe?

phrasal verbs

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snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

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