/bi'li:v/ verb (not in progressive)
1 BE SURE STH IS TRUE (T) to be sure that something is true or that someone is telling the truth: You shouldn't believe everything you read. | believe (that): I can hardly believe he's only 25! | believe sb: I don't believe her - it can't be true. | believe sth of sb: Stealing? I would never have believed it of him! | not believe a word of it spoken (=not believe something at all)
2 can't/don't believe spoken used to say that you are very surprised or shocked by something: It's still raining - I don't believe it! | I can't believe he's expecting us to work on Sunday as well! | My mum couldn't believe it when I dyed my hair green.
3 believe it or not spoken used when you are going to say something that is true but surprising: Well, believe it or not, they've given me a loan.
4 would you believe it! spoken used when you are surprised or angry about something: And then he just walked out. Would you believe it!
5 believe (you) me spoken used to emphasize that something is definitely true: There'll be trouble when they find out about this, believe you me!
6 you'd better believe it! spoken used to emphasize that something is true
7 don't you believe it! spoken used to emphasize that something is definitely not true
8 can't believe your eyes/ears spoken to be very surprised by something you see or hear: I could hardly believe my eyes when he took a gun out of his pocket.
9 if you believe that, you'll believe anything spoken used to say that something is definitely not true, and that anyone who believes it must be stupid
10 HAVE AN OPINION (T) to think that something is true, although you are not completely sure: believe (that): I believe you two have met already. | believe so/not (=think that something is true or not): "Have they arrived yet?" "Yes, I believe so." | believe sb to be sth: The jury believed Beyers to be innocent. | be widely believed (=a lot of people believe this): They are widely believed to be planning a takeover bid. | have reason to believe (that) (=have information that makes you believe something): We have reason to believe that she knew the victim quite well.
11 seeing is believing usually spoken used to say that you will only believe that something happens or exists when you actually see it
12 RELIGION (I) to have a strong religious faith: She says that those who believe will go to heaven.
-see also: make believe make 1 (19) believe in phrasal verb (T)
1 to be sure that someone exists: Do you believe in God? | It's amazing how many people believe in ghosts.
2 to support or approve of something because you think it is good or right: I don't believe in all these silly diets. | believe in doing sth: They believe in letting children make their own mistakes.
3 (transitive believe in someone) to be confident that someone can be trusted: The people want a President they can believe in. | You've got to believe in yourself, or you'll never succeed.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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