ETYM Old Eng. bileafe, bileve; cf. AS. geleáfa. Related to Believe.
1. A religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof; SYN. dogma, tenet.
2. Any cognitive content held as true.
Assent to the truth of propositions, statements, or facts. In philosophy, belief that something is the case is contrasted with knowledge, because we only say we believe that something is the case when we are unjustified in claiming to know that it is.
Although they undoubtedly affect behavior, beliefs cannot be analyzed solely in behavioral terms, since a person can believe that he or she is unselfish and yet still be very selfish. French philosopher René Descartes held that the assent to the truth of a proposition is a matter of will, whereas the Scot David Hume held that it is an emotional condition.
In religion, belief is based on acceptance of the reported existence, acts, and teachings of religious figures, not witnessed first-hand but passed down the generations in written form and ritual.
feeling · impression · notion · opinion