/bi leef"/, n.1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.3. confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.4. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.[1125-75; earlier bile(e)ve (n. use of v.); r. ME bileave, equiv. to bi- BE- + leave; cf. OE geleafa (c. D geloof, G Glaube; akin to Goth galaubeins)]Syn. 1. view, tenet, conclusion, persuasion. 2. assurance. BELIEF, CERTAINTY, CONVICTION refer to acceptance of, or confidence in, an alleged fact or body of facts as true or right without positive knowledge or proof. BELIEF is such acceptance in general: belief in astrology. CERTAINTY indicates unquestioning belief and positiveness in one's own mind that something is true: I know this for a certainty. CONVICTION is settled, profound, or earnest belief that something is right: a conviction that a decision is just. 4. doctrine, dogma.
* * *a mental attitude of acceptance or assent toward a proposition without the full intellectual knowledge required to guarantee its truth. Believing is either an intellectual judgment or, as the 18th-century Scottish Skeptic David Hume maintained, a special sort of feeling with overtones that differ from those of disbelief. Beliefs have been distinguished according to their degree of certainty: a surmise or suspicion, an opinion, or a conviction. Belief becomes knowledge only when the truth of a proposition becomes evident to the believer. Belief in someone or something is basically different from belief that a proposition is true.
* * *