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trust (trŭst)
a. Firm belief in the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing; confidence or reliance: trying to gain our clients' trust; taking it on trust that our friend is telling the truth.
b. The condition and resulting obligation of having confidence placed in one: violated a public trust.
c. One in which confidence is placed.
a. Custody; care: left her papers in my trust during her illness.
b. Something committed into the care of another; a charge: violated a public trust.
a. Reliance on something in the future; hope: We have trust that the future will be better.
b. Reliance on the intention and ability of a purchaser to pay in the future; credit: bought the supplies on trust from a local dealer.
4. Law
a. A legal relationship in which one party holds a title to property while another party has the entitlement to the beneficial use of that property.
b. The confidence reposed in a trustee when giving the trustee legal title to property to administer for another, together with the trustee's obligation regarding that property and the beneficiary.
c. The property so held.
5. An institution or organization directed by trustees: a charitable trust.
6. A combination of firms or corporations for the purpose of reducing competition and controlling prices throughout a business or industry.
v. trust·ed, trust·ing, trusts
a. To have or place confidence in; depend on: only trusted his friends; did not trust the strength of the thin rope; could not be trusted to oversee so much money.
b. To have confidence in allowing (someone) to use, know, or look after something: Can I trust you with a secret?
2. To expect with assurance; assume: I trust that you will be on time.
3. To give credence to; believe: I trust what you say.
4. To place in the care of another person or in a situation deemed safe; entrust: "the unfortunate souls who trusted their retirement savings to the stock" (Bill Barnhart).
5. To extend credit to.
1. To have or place reliance; depend: We can only trust in our guide's knowledge of the terrain.
2. To be confident; hope.
in trust
In the possession or care of a trustee.

[Middle English truste, perhaps from Old Norse traust, confidence; see deru- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

truster n.

Synonyms: trust, faith, confidence, reliance
These nouns denote a feeling of certainty that a person or thing will not fail. Trust implies depth and assurance of feeling that is often based on inconclusive evidence: The mayor vowed to justify the trust the electorate had placed in him. Faith connotes unquestioning, often emotionally charged belief: "Often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true" (William James).
Confidence frequently implies stronger grounds for assurance: "The experience ... made me want to be a surgeonnot an amateur handed the knife for a brief moment but someone with the confidence and ability to proceed as if it were routine" (Atul Gawande).
Reliance connotes a confident and trustful commitment to another: "What reliance could they place on the protection of a prince so recently their enemy?" (William Hickling Prescott). See Also Synonyms at care, rely.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.