ADJ. absolute, deep-seated, deeply held, fervent, firm, passionate, profound, strong, strongly held, unshakeable | genuine, honest, sincere She was strict with her children in the genuine belief that it was the right thing to do. | entrenched, fanatical | common, commonly held, general, popular, widely held, widespread | growing | long-held, long-standing | belief how things could have got this bad.
BELIEF + VERB persist Belief in the magical properties of this herb persisted down the centuries.
BELIEF + NOUN system
PREP. beyond ~ (= too great, difficult, etc. to be believed) Dissatisfaction with the government has grown beyond belief. icy air that was cold beyond belief | in the ~ that She did it in the belief that it would basic, central, core, fundamental the basic beliefs of Christianityhelp her career. | ~ about beliefs | personal, private I think the rights and wrongs of eating meat are a matter of personal belief. | rational, reasonable | irrational, superstitious | instinctive | naive | strange | conflicting, contradictory | erroneous, false, misguided, mistaken I took the job in the mistaken belief that I would be able to stay in London. | ancient, traditional The people still follow their traditional beliefs. | orthodox | cultural, moral, political, religious, spiritual They were persecuted for their religious beliefs. | Catholic, Christian, pagan, etc.
QUANT. set, system Each religion has its set of beliefs.
VERB + BELIEF have, hold I have very firm beliefs about moral issues. | share He shared his father's belief that people should work hard for their living. | adhere to, cling to, follow, hold on to, stick to She clung to the belief that he would come back to her. The Labour Party must stick to its beliefs. | abandon, give up, renounce | lose She has lost her belief in God. | affirm, assert, declare, express, state Here the apostle Peter affirms his belief that the scriptures are ‘inspired’. | emphasize, stress | encourage, foster, fuel The exam results encouraged the belief that he was a good teacher. | confirm, reinforce, strengthen, support This latest evidence strengthens our belief that the government is doing the right thing. | question, shake, shatter, undermine, weaken The child's death shook her belief in God. | respect You must respect other people's beliefs. | beggar, defy (= to be impossible to believe) It beggars about the origin of the universe | ~ among There is a belief among young people that education is a waste of time. | ~ in a belief in God
PHRASES contrary to popular belief (= in spite of what people think) Contrary to popular belief, rainforests are not jungles through which you have to slash a path.