Words of the Day 28 December 2017 – Belief/Believe.


Welcome to a regular feature on my blog – WOTD. Each day a new word will be suggested as the word of the day, which could either be an already existing (but rarely used) word or may be a completely made-up one. There will be a short definition and, ideally, an example of how the word would be used in everyday conversation.

I encourage anyone to provide their own words, either in the comments below or by linking their posted word to this blog. Don’t forget the definition or maybe when it should be used.

So, today’s words are: Belief and Believe.(Noun/verb).

Pronounced: Beh-leaf (or bee-leaf)/ beh-leave. (bee-leave)

Today’s WOTD is neither rarely used nor made-up but today i discovered what i think is a rarely known aspect of this quite commonly used word that has powerful meanings for every single human being on the planet. It is that the lief/lieve part comes through old English and various European languages from some original Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language precedent word: leubh meaning, essentially, ‘Love’! (Also care,desire).

The ‘Be-‘ part is an intensive for the root which essentialy gives the meaning more strength and personal intent. So to believe (have a belief) can be to Love something intensely, to hold dear or to have absolute trust in.

Originally belief was to have Trust in God while faith was to hold loyalty to a person based upon a duty or a promise. In the middle ages and up to recent times there has been somewhat of a reversal in understandings in common usage so that faith is seen as faith in God while a belief could be in anything  (or nothing: “I believe nothing anyone tells me”.) Some now have a belief in the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus or even Donald Trump!

I prefer the original meaning! 🙂

Belief meaning: “conviction of the truth of a proposition or alleged fact without knowledge” circa 1530s; it is also sometimes used to include “the absolute conviction or certainty which accompanies knowledge” [Century Dictionary]. From c. 1200 as “a creed, essential doctrines of a religion or church, things held to be true as a matter of religious doctrine;” the general sense of “That which is believed” is by 1714. Late 12c., bileave, “confidence reposed in a person or thing; faith in a religion,” replacing Old English geleafa “belief, faith,”.


Eg : Every person has some kind of belief at any given moment that they hold dear to their heart and mind. It may not be true for all but while it is true for them it is almost unshakeable. Like the love it is supported by it can sometimes be lost, only to be replaced by something  – ideally something even more unshakeable.




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