W1S1 [bıˈli:v] v
[: Old English; Origin: belefan, from lyfan, lefan 'to allow, believe']
1.) [T not in progressive]
to be sure that something is true or that someone is telling the truth
You shouldn't believe everything you read.
I believed him, even though his story sounded unlikely.
believe (that)
I don't believe he's only 25.
I don't believe a word of it (=I think it is completely untrue) .
2.) [T not in progressive]
to think that something is true or possible, although you are not completely sure
believe (that)
Detectives believe that the victim knew his killer.
it is believed (that)
It is believed that the house was built in 1735.
believe so
(=think that something is true)
'Have they arrived yet?' 'Yes, I believe so.'
be believed to be sth
At 115, Mrs Jackson is believed to be the oldest person in the country.
The four men are widely believed (=believed by a lot of people) to have been killed by their captors.
Did you honestly believe that I'd be stupid enough to do that?
I firmly believe that the business will be a success.
3.) it's difficult/hard to believe (that)
used when you are surprised that something is true
Sometimes, it's hard to believe we've been married for 50 years.
4.) spoken can't/don't believe sth
used when you are very surprised or shocked by something
I can't believe he's expecting us to work on Sunday as well!
I couldn't believe it when he told me what had happened.
can hardly/scarcely believe sth
I could scarcely believe my luck.
5.) spoken believe it or not
used when you are saying something that is true but surprising
He enjoys school, believe it or not.
6.) spoken would you believe it!
or I don't believe it!
used when you are surprised or angry about something
And then he just walked out. Would you believe it!
7.) spoken believe (you) me
used to emphasize that something is definitely true
There'll be trouble when they find out about this, believe you me!
8.) spoken you'd better believe it!
used to emphasize that something is true
9.) spoken don't you believe it!
used to emphasize that something is definitely not true
10.) spoken can't believe your eyes/ears
used to say that someone is very surprised by something they see or hear
11.) spoken if you believe that, you'll believe anything
used to say that something is definitely not true, and that anyone who believes it must be stupid
12.) spoken seeing is believing
or I'll believe it when I see it
used to say that you will only believe that something happens or exists when you actually see it
to have a religious faith
She says those who believe will go to heaven.
make believe [i]atmake1 (19)
believe in / [believe in sb/sth] phr v
1.) to be sure that someone or something exists
Do you believe in God?
2.) to think that something is effective or right
I don't believe in all these silly diets.
believe in doing sth
The school believes in letting children learn at their own pace.
3.) to trust someone and be confident that they will be successful
The people want a President they can believe in.
You've got to believe in yourself, or you'll never succeed.
WORD CHOICE: believe, believe in
If you believe something, you think it is true. If you believe someone, you think they are telling the truth : Nobody believed what I said. |I didn't do it - you've got to believe me!
Use believe in to mean
that you think something exists : Do you believe in God?
that you think that something is good : He doesn't believe in private education.
that you think someone is good and will achieve good things : My mother always believed in me.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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