v. be·lieved, be·liev·ing, be·lieves
1. To accept as true or real: Do you believe the news stories?
2. To credit with veracity: I believe you.
3. To expect or suppose; think: I believe they will arrive shortly.
1. To have firm faith, especially religious faith.
2. To have faith, confidence, or trust: I believe in your ability to solve the problem.
3. To have confidence in the truth or value of something: We believe in free speech.
4. To have an opinion; think: They have already left, I believe.
believe (one's) ears
To trust what one has heard.
believe (one's) eyes
To trust what one has seen.
[Middle English bileven, from Old English belȳfan, belēfan, gelēfan; see leubh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.