1. 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. A persuasion of the truths of religion; faith. "No man can attain [to] belief by the bare contemplation of heaven and earth." (Hooker)

3. The thing believed; the object of belief. "Superstitious prophecies are not only the belief of fools, but the talk sometimes of wise men." (Bacon)

4. 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.

Synonyms: Credence, trust, reliance, assurance, opinion.

Origin: OE. Bileafe, bileve; cf. AS. Geleafa. See Believe.

(01 Mar 1998)

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