1accept that (something) is true, especially without proof:the superintendent believed Lancaster’s story [with clause]:some 23 per cent believe that smoking keeps down weight accept the statement of (someone) as true:he didn’t believe her [no object] have religious faith: there are those on the fringes of the Church who do not really believe
(believe something of
) feel sure that (someone) is capable of doing something:I wouldn’t have believed it of Lavinia—what an extraordinary woman!
2 [with clause] hold (something) as an opinion; think:I believe we’ve already met (believe someone/thing to be)four men were believed to be trapped
1have faith in the truth or existence of:those who believe in God 2be of the opinion that (something) is right or acceptable:I don’t believe in censorship of the arts 3have confidence in (a person or a course of action):he had finally begun to believe in her