See also: Faith and fáith

English edit

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Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English faith (also fay), borrowed from Old French fei, feid, from Latin fidem. Displaced native Old English ġelēafa, which was also the word for "belief."

Old French had [θ] as a final devoiced allophone of /ð/ from lenited Latin /d/; this eventually fell silent in the 12th century. The -th of the Middle English forms is most straightforwardly accounted for as a direct borrowing of a French [θ]. However, it has also been seen as arising from alteration of a French form with -d under influence of English abstract nouns in the suffix -th (e.g. truth, ruth, health, etc.), or as a recharacterisation of a French form like fay, fey, fei with the same suffix, thus making the word equivalent to fay +‎ -th.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /feɪθ/
  • Rhymes: -eɪθ
  • (file)
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Noun edit

faith (countable and uncountable, plural faiths)

  1. A trust or confidence in the intentions or abilities of a person, object, or ideal from prior empirical evidence.
    The faithfulness of Old Faithful gives us faith in it.
    I have faith in the goodness of my fellow man.
    You need to have faith in yourself, that you can overcome your shortcomings and become a good person.
    • 1965, 18:00 from the start, in Lyndon B. Johnson inaugural address: January 20, 1965[1], President Lyndon B. Johnson (actor), CBS News:
      For we are a nation of believers. Underneath the clamor of building and the rush of our day's pursuits, we are believers in justice and liberty and union, and in our own Union. We believe that every man must someday be free. And we believe in ourselves.
      That is the mistake that our enemies have always made. In my lifetime--in depression and in war--they have awaited our defeat. Each time, from the secret places of the American heart, came forth the faith they could not see or that they could not even imagine. It brought us victory. And it will again.
    • 1999, Nicholas Walker, “The Reorientation of Critical Theory: Habermas”, in Simon Glemdinning, editor, The Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy[2], Routledge, →ISBN, page 489:
      [] with a mentality anchored in a profoundly influential and persistent hostility to central features of the Enlightment faith in the theoretical and practical autonomy of the human subject.
  2. A conviction about abstractions, ideas, or beliefs, without empirical evidence, experience, or observation.
    I have faith that my prayers will be answered.
    I have faith in the healing power of crystals.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Matthew 17:19–20:
      Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
      And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
    • 1850, [Alfred, Lord Tennyson], In Memoriam, London: Edward Moxon, [], →OCLC, Prologue:
      We have but faith: we cannot know;
      ⁠For knowledge is of things we see
      ⁠And yet we trust it comes from thee,
      A beam in darkness: let it grow.
  3. A religious or spiritual belief system.
    The Christian faith.
    We seek justice for the Indo-European Folk Faith; what's wrong in our literature for that?
    • 2020 March 27, “Dafa Taught Me How to Be a Good Person”, in Minghui[3]:
      Gradually I realized that I needed a faith to rely on.
  4. An obligation of loyalty or fidelity and the observance of such an obligation.
    He acted in good faith to restore broken diplomatic ties after defeating the incumbent.
  5. (obsolete) Credibility or truth.
    • 1784-1810, William Mitford, History of Greece
      the faith of the foregoing [] narrative

Quotations edit

For quotations using this term, see Citations:faith.

Synonyms edit

  • (knowing, without direct observation, based on indirect evidence and experience, that something is true, real, or will happen): belief, confidence, trust, conviction
  • (system of religious belief): religion

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

Adverb edit

faith (not comparable)

  1. (archaic) Alternative form of in faith (really, truly)
    • 1828, [Edward Bulwer-Lytton], Pelham; or, The Adventures of a Gentleman. [], volume III, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC:
      “How wonderfully,” said Vincent, “your city dignities unloose the tongue: directly a man has been a mayor, he thinks himself qualified for a Tully at least. Faith, Venables asked me one day, what was the Latin for spouting? and I told him, ‘hippomanes, or a raging humour in mayors.’”
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide:
      'Faith, friend,' he says, 'that was a nasty fall for a fellow that has supped weel. Where might your road be gaun to?'

References edit

Anagrams edit

Old Irish edit

Noun edit

faith m

  1. Alternative spelling of fáith

Welsh edit

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit


  1. Soft mutation of maith.

Mutation edit

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
maith faith unchanged unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.