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[a. OF. feid, feit (pronounced fei{edh}, ? fei{th}: see Suchier in Gröber's Grundriss Rom. Phil. I. 586), = Pr. fe (nom. fes), Sp., Pg. fé, It. fede:{em}L. fidem, f. root of f{imac}d-{ebreve}re to trust. The later OF. form fei (whence mod.F. foi) was also adopted in ME., and survived in certain phrases down to 16th c.: see FAY n.1

The L. fides, like its etymological cognate Gr. {pi}{giacu}{sigma}{tau}{iota}{fsigma}, which it renders in the N.T., had the following principal senses: 1. Belief, trust. 2. That which produces belief, evidence, token, pledge, engagement. 3. Trust in its objective aspect, troth; observance of trust, fidelity.]

I. Belief, trust, confidence.

1. a. Confidence, reliance, trust (in the ability, goodness, etc., of a person; in the efficacy or worth of a thing; or in the truth of a statement or doctrine). Const. in, {dag}of. In early use, only with reference to religious objects; this is still the prevalent application, and often colours the wider use.

a1300 Cursor M. 3405 (Cott.) In drightin was his fayth ai fest. c1340 Ibid. 2286 (Trin.) In maumetrie furst fei{th} he nembrot fond. c1391 CHAUCER Astrol. II. §4 Observauncez..& rytes of paiens, in which my spirit ne hath no feith. 1398 TREVISA Barth De P.R. XV. lxxxvii (1495) 522 The Germans tornyd the Liuones..to the worshyp and fayth of one god. 1550 CROWLEY Last Trump. 151 Se that thy fayth be pitched On thy Lord God. 1680 OTWAY Orphan II. vii, Attempt no farther to delude my Faith. 1768-74 TUCKER Lt. Nat. (1852) II. 235 Such an one has great faith in Ward's pills. 1821 CHALMERS Serm. I. i. 18 Faith in the constancy of this law. 1837 J. H. NEWMAN Par. Serm. (ed. 2) III. vi. 87 To have faith in God is to surrender oneself to God. 1848 MACAULAY Hist. Eng. I. 168 Without faith in human virtue or in human attachment. 1855 KINGSLEY Lett. (1878) I. 442 There was the most intense faith in him..that Right was right.


b. [[Early ME. bileafe, leaue, -leue, f. bi-, BE + leafe:{em}OE. (Northumb.) léafa, shortened from {asg}e-léafa ‘belief,’ a common WGer. abstract n. (= OS. gilô{bbar}o, MDu. gelôve, Du. geloof, OHG. giloubo, MHG. geloube, Ger. glaube):{em}OTeut. type *galau{bbar}on- (but not found in Gothic, which had the cogn. galaubeins fem.); f. galaub- ‘dear, esteemed, valued, valuable’; see BELIEVE. The orig. {asg}eléafa, ileafe, ILEVE, and its short form léafa, leafe, LEVE, survived till the 13th c., when the present compound, which had appeared already in the 12th c., superseded both. The be-, which is not a natural prefix of nouns, was prefixed on the analogy of the vb. (where it is naturally an intensive), so that believe, belief, go together, as the earlier {asg}elíefan, {asg}eléafa, and liéfan, léafa, did. The vowel of the n. (éa) and vb. (WSax. íe, Anglian é) were originally different; but the distinction was lost in ME. On the other hand the final consonants were differentiated in 16th c. the n. changing from beleeve to beleefe, apparently by form-analogy with pairs like grieve grief, prove proof. The normal mod.Eng. would have been beleave or beleeve.]

1. The mental action, condition, or habit, of trusting to or confiding in a person or thing; trust, dependence, reliance, confidence, faith. Const. in (to, of obs.) a person.

(Belief was the earlier word for what is now commonly called faith. The latter originally meant in Eng. (as in OFrench) ‘loyalty to a person to whom one is bound by promise or duty, or to one's promise or duty itself,’ as in ‘to keep faith, to break faith,’ and the derivatives faithful, faithless, in which there is no reference to ‘belief’; i.e. ‘faith’ was = fidelity, fealty. But the word faith being, through OF. fei, feith, the etymological representative of the L. fides, it began in the 14th c. to be used to translate the latter, and in course of time almost superseded ‘belief,’ esp. in theological language, leaving ‘belief’ in great measure to the merely intellectual process or state in sense 2. Thus ‘belief in God’ no longer means as much as ‘faith in God’ (cf. quot. 1814 in 2). See BELIEVE 1, and 1b.)

c1175 Lamb. Hom. 101 Cristene men ne sculen heore bileafe bisettan on {th}ere weorldliche eahte. c1375 WYCLIF Serm. Sel. Wks. I. 59 Affie {th}e, dou{ygh}ter, {th}i bileve ha{th} made {th}ee saif. c1386 CHAUCER 2nd Nonnes. T. 63 And though that I, unworthy sone of Eve, Be synful, yet accepte my bileve. c1400 Melayne 438 What myghte es in a rotyn tree {Th}at {ygh}oure byleue es in. c1450 Merlin 50 It is grete merveile that ye haue so grete bileve to this man. 1508 FISHER Wks. 271 A stedfast byleue of God. 1535 COVERDALE Tob. ii, We..loke for the life, which God shal geue vnto them, that neuer turne their beleue from him. 1626 BACON Sylva §327 We knew a Dutch-man, that had wrought himself into the beleif of a great Person by undertaking that he could make Gold. 1837 CARLYLE Fr. Rev. I. IV. iv. 183 Belief in high-plumed hats of a feudal cut; in heraldic scutcheons; in the divine right of Kings. 1859 TENNYSON Elaine 961 Beyond mine old belief in womanhood.


b. absol. Trust in God; the Christian virtue of faith. arch. or Obs.

c1375 WYCLIF Serm. Sel. Wks. I. 21 Neither wi{th} figis of bileve, ne wi{th} grapis of devocioun. c1400 Apol. Loll. Introd. 6 It is sooth that bileue is grounde of alle vertues. c1400 Destr. Troy x. 4287 ffor lacke of beleue {th}ai light into errour, and fellen vnto fals goddes. 1578 QUEEN ELIZABETH in Farr S.P. (1845) I. 1 Who shall therefor from Syon geue That helthe whych hangeth on our b'leue? 1593 HOOKER Eccl. Pol. III. i. §5 The Church hath from the apostles..received belief. 1840 CARLYLE Heroes vi. 320 That war of the Puritans..the war of Belief against Unbelief.


{dag}c. out of belief: unbelieving, outside the pale of the faith. Obs.

1493 Festivall (W. de W. 1515) 60 The Jewe that was out of beleve.


2. Mental acceptance of a proposition, statement, or fact, as true, on the ground of authority or evidence; assent of the mind to a statement, or to the truth of a fact beyond observation, on the testimony of another, or to a fact or truth on the evidence of consciousness; the mental condition involved in this assent. Constr. of a statement, or (obs.) a speaker; that...; belief in (a thing); persuasion of its existence.

1533 FRITH Bk. agst. Rastell (1829) 236 That I would bring the people in belief that repentance of a man helpeth not for the remission of his sin. 1580 SIDNEY Arcadia III. (1590) 385 My only defence shal be beleefe of nothing. 1680 MORDEN Geog. Rect. (1685) 254 There is no belief of men that were always accounted Lyers. 1790 BOSWELL Johnson 100 We talked of belief in ghosts. 1814 WORDSW. Excursion IV. Wks. VII. 161 One in whom persuasion and belief Had ripened into faith. 1843 MILL Logic I. i. §2 The simplest act of belief supposes, and has something to do with, two objects. 1849 ABP. THOMSON Laws Th. §118 (1860) 240 The amount of belief we have in our judgment has been called its Modality, as being the mode in which we hold it for truth. 1872 CALDERWOOD Handbk. Mor. Philos. (1874) 248 Belief is the assent of the mind to a truth, while the reality so acknowledged is not matter of observation. Mod. His statements are unworthy of belief.


3. The thing believed; the proposition or set of propositions held true; in early usage, esp. the doctrines believed by the professors of a religious system, a religion. In modern use often simply = opinion, persuasion.

a1225 St. Marher. 4 Ant heide his hethene godes..ant lei to his luthere bileaue. a1340 HAMPOLE Pr. Consc. 4335 And turne {th}am til a fals belyefe. c1380 Sir Ferumb. 829 Til he wer cristned..& y-bro{ygh}t to {th}e ri{ygh}t beleue. 1393 GOWER Conf. II. 152 The beleves, that tho were. c1400 MANDEVILLE x. 121 Thei holden the Beleeve amonges us. 1530 RASTELL Bk. Purgat. II. iv, Of thys beleve, that the soule shall never dye. 1535 COVERDALE Esther viii. 17 Many of the people in the londe became of the Iewes beleue. 1714 LADY M. W. MONTAGUE Lett. lxxxvi. II. 141 It is my belief you will not be at all the richer. 1836 HOR. SMITH Tin Trump. (1876) 56 Throughout the world belief depends chiefly upon localities, and the accidents of birth. 1877 E. CONDER Bas. Faith i. 8 The belief that there is no God is as definite a creed as the belief in one God or in many gods.


b. The term is applied by some philosophers to the primary or ultimate principles of knowledge received on the evidence of consciousness; intuition, natural judgement.

1838 SIR W. HAMILTON in Reid's Wks. 743/1 note, The primary truths of fact, and the primary truths of intelligence (the contingent and necessary truths of Reid) form two very distinct classes of the original beliefs or intuitions of consciousness. 1877 CONDER Basis of Faith iv. 157 Primary judgments (as that every change must have a cause) are often called beliefs, though ‘intuitions’ would be a better term.


4. A formal statement of doctrines believed, a creed. the Belief: the ‘Apostles' Creed.’ arch.

c1175 Lamb. Hom. 73 Buten heo cunnen heore bileue. {th}et is . pater noster . and credo. 1377 LANGL. P. Pl. B. v. 7, I..sat softly adown and seide my bileue. c1550 How Plowm. lerned Pater-Noster 54 in Hazl. E.P.P. 211, I mervayll ryght gretly, That thy byleve was never taught the. 1637 HEYWOOD Dialogues i. 101 Some sung, and some did say Haile Virgin: others, their Beleefe. 1712 PRIDEAUX Direct. Ch.-Wardens (ed. 4) 11 Kneeling at the Prayers, Standing at the Belief. 1840 MARRYAT Olla Podr. (Rtldg.) 331, I said..the Belief.


{dag}5. Confident anticipation, expectation. Obs.

1513 DOUGLAS Æneis X. ix. 44 That gude beleif quhilk thou has eyk Of Ascanyvs vprysyng to estait. 1535 STEWART Cron. Scot. II. 235 In the feild sa mony als war slane, Without beleif to gif battell agane.Belief proceeding from reliance on testimony or authority.

1551 T. WILSON Logike (1580) 60b, An historicall faithe. As I doe beleve that Willyam Conquerour was kyng of Englande. a1628 PRESTON Breastpl. Faith (1630) 15 Faith is..assenting to Truthes for the Authority of the Speaker. 1725 WATTS Logic II. ii. §9 When we derive the Evidence of any Proposition from the Testimony of others, it is called the Evidence of Faith. a1873 HUXLEY in Hamerton Intell. Life VIII. ii. (1873) 299 The absolute rejection of authority..the annihilation of the spirit of blind faith.


2. Phrases. to give faith: to yield belief to. to pin one's faith to or upon: to believe implicitly.

1430 Paston Lett. No. 14 I. 30, I prey yow to gyve feith and credence touchant this matier. 1552 ABP. HAMILTON Catech. (1884) 27 Fayth to be geven to the Word of God. 1556 Aurelio & Isab. (1608) Ivij, One oughte to geve more feithe unto the secrete consentment of the soule, than [etc.]. 1653 H. COGAN tr. Pinto's Trav. xxxv. 140 Opinions..unto which they give so much faith, that nothing can be able to remove them from it. 1702 POPE Dryope 69 If to the wretched any faith be giv'n. 1710 HEARNE Collect. 4 Mar., Some pin..their Faith on..Hoadly. 1797 MRS. RADCLIFFE Italian vi, You believe..that I am willing to give faith to wonderful stories. 1812 SHELLEY Propos. Association Prose Wks. I. 270 Well~meaning people, who pin their faith upon their grand~mother's apronstring. 1885 London Society Apr. 357 The..practitioner of the old school..pins his faith to time~honoured methods.


3. Theol. in various specific applications. a. Belief in the truths of religion; belief in the authenticity of divine revelation (whether viewed as contained in Holy Scripture or in the teaching of the Church), and acceptance of the revealed doctrines. b. That kind of faith (distinctively called saving or justifying faith) by which, in the teaching of the N.T., a sinner is justified in the sight of God. This is very variously defined by theologians (see quots.), but there is general agreement in regarding it as a conviction practically operative on the character and will, and thus opposed to the mere intellectual assent to religious truth (sometimes called speculative faith). c. The spiritual apprehension of divine truths, or of realities beyond the reach of sensible experience or logical proof. By Christian writers often identified with the preceding; but not exclusively confined to Christian use. Often viewed as the exercise of a special faculty in the soul of man, or as the result of supernatural illumination.

1382 WYCLIF Jas. ii. 17 Feith, if it haue not werkes, is deed in it silf. 1526 TINDALE Prol. Moses Wks. 7 Fayth, is the beleuyng of Gods promises, and a sure trust in the goodnes and truth of God, which fayth iustified Abrah. 1555 EDEN Decades Pref. to Rdr. (Arb.) 51 Abraham the father of fayth. 1581 MARBECK Bk. of Notes 375 Faith..maketh God & man friends. 1651 HOBBES Leviath. III. xlii. 271 Faith is a gift of God, which Man can neither give, nor take away. 1690 LOCKE Hum. Und. IV. xviii, Faith..is the Assent to any Proposition..upon the Credit of the Proposer, as coming from God, in some extraordinary way of Communication. 1700 BURKITT On N.T. John i. 12 Faith is..such an affiance in Christ..as is the parent and principle of obedience to him. 1744 SWIFT Serm. Trinity 52 Faith is an entire Dependence upon the Truth, the Power, the Justice, and the mercy of God. 1781 COWPER Expost. 111 Faith, the root whence only can arise The graces of a life that wins the skies. 1830 WORDSW. Russian Fugitive II. xi, That monumental grace Of Faith. 1860 PUSEY Min. Proph. 415 The faith of which he speaks, is a real true confiding faith. 1869 GOULBURN Purs. Holiness iii. 21 Faith..the faculty by which we realize unseen things.


4. That which is or should be believed. a. A system of religious belief, e.g. the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc., faith. Also, confession, rule of faith, for which see those words.

c1325 Coer de L. 4062 He is at the Sarezynes faith. c1330 R. BRUNNE Chron. (1810) 24 At haly kirkes fayth alle on were bo{th}e. 1393 LANGL. P. Pl. C. XVIII. 258 In a faith lyue{th} {th}at folke, and in a false mene. c1400 MANDEVILLE (1839) iii. 18 Thei varien from oure Feithe. 1485 CAXTON Chas. Gt. 1 The cristen feythe is affermed. 1529 MORE Dyaloge II. Wks. 179/1 The churche..muste..haue all one fayth. 1553 EDEN Treat. Newe Ind. (Arb.) 24 They haue no law written and are of no faith. 1599 SHAKES. Much Ado I. i. 75 He weares his faith but as the fashion of his hat. 1611 BIBLE Jude 3 Earnestly contend for the faith which was once deliuered vnto the Saints. 1653 H. COGAN tr. Pinto's Trav. viii. 21, I swear to thee by the faith of Pagan, that [etc.]. 1832 W. IRVING Alhambra I. 302 Are you willing to renounce the faith of your father? 1858 LD. ST. LEONARDS Handy Bk. Prop. Law xiii. 81 The child should be brought up in the religious faith of the father.

transf. 1878 MORLEY Byron Crit. Misc. 1st Ser. 224 It was perhaps the secret of the black transformation of the social faith of '89 into the worship of the Conqueror of '99.


b. the faith: the true religion; usually = the Christian faith. Also, without article in certain phrases, as contrary to faith, etc. of faith: part and parcel of the faith.

a1300 Cursor M. 21013 (Cott.) Iacob {th}e mar..{th}e land o spaigne in fait he fest. c1340 Ibid. 8990 (Fairf.) {Th}at caytef kinde..made him salamon in {th}e fai{th} ful fals. a1375 Joseph Arim. 11 Joseph..hedde I-turned to {th}e fey{th}, fifti with him-seluen. c1485 Digby Myst. II. 240 A very pynacle of the fayth. 1555 EDEN Decades Pref. to Rdr. (Arb.) 50 marg., The Indians subdued to the fayth. 1611 BIBLE Transl. Pref. 3 A manifest falling away from the Faith. 1635 E. PAGITT Christianogr. I. iii. (1636) 108 The Gospel conteineth intirely the faith. 1844 LINGARD Anglo-Sax. Ch. (1845) II. App. 401 Matters contrary to faith. 1867 BP. FORBES Explan. 39 Art. i. (1881) 5 The uncompounded nature of God is of faith.


c. What is believed, or required to be believed, on a particular subject. {dag}Also pl. points of faith, tenets.

c1380 WYCLIF Sel. Wks. III. 378 Freris perverten {th}o right feithe of {th}o sacrament of {th}o auter. 1513 BRADSHAW St. Werburge I. 1638 Prechynge..The faythes of holy chyrche. 1845 MAURICE Mor. & Met. Philos. in Encycl. Metrop. II. 632/1 We assumed the common faith of our countrymen respecting the..discipline of the Jew to be true. 1883 H. DRUMMOND Nat. Law in Spir. W. 276 A repetition of the Hebrew poets' faith.


{dag}5. act of (the) faith: = AUTO DA FÉ. Obs.

1656 MANASSEH BEN ISRAEL Vind. Judæorum in Phenix (1708) II. 400 The Act of the Faith, which is ordinarily done at Toledo, was done at Madrid, Anno 1632. 1709 Lond. Gaz. No. 4565/1 On the thirtieth of the last Month an Act of Faith was held in this City Lisbon by the Inquisition.


II. Inducement to belief or trust.

{dag}6. Power to produce belief, credit, convincing authority. Obs.

a1638 MEDE Ep. to Estwick Wks. IV. 836 S. Jerom is a man of no faith with me. 1808 W. MITFORD Hist. Greece IV. xxxi. (app.) 124 It may not be unnecessary..towards establishing the faith of the foregoing..narrative.


{dag}7. Attestation, confirmation, assurance. Obs.

1393 GOWER Conf. III. 326 To yive a more feith..In blacke clothes they hem cloth. 1556 Aurelio & Isab. (1608) Fvj, The manney folde paines..makethe cleare faithe inoughe, that the greter follie is yowres. 1654 JER. TAYLOR Real Pres. xii. 27 An excellent MS. that makes faith in this particular. 1730 A. GORDON Maffei's Amphith. 375 Relying on the Faith of Books.


{dag}8. a. Assurance given, formal declaration, pledge, promise. In phrases, to do, make faith (= L. fidem facere): to affirm, promise, give surety. to give (one's) faith (= L. fidem dare): to give assurance, pledge one's word. on his faith: on parole. Obs.

1382 WYCLIF Prov. xi. 15 He shal be tormetid with euel that doth feith [Vulg. fidem facit] for a stranger. c1400 Destr. Troy 548 {Th}at {ygh}e me faith make, In dede for to do as I desyre wille. c1430 Syr Gener. (Roxb.) 9969 He toke feith of free and bond. 1483 CAXTON Gold. Leg. 223/1 Alle made fayth to other that [etc.]. 1523 LD. BERNERS Froiss. I. ccxi. 254 The kyng of England..trusted them on theyr faithes. 1548 HALL Chron. 184b, Emongest men of warre, faith or othe, syldome is perfourmed. 1558 BP. WATSON Sev. Sacram. xxviii. 178 Jane, here I geue to thee my faythe and truthe..I wyll marrye thee. 1581 MARBECK Bk. of Notes 807 Faith was made to them, that..they should come safe. 1641 BAKER Chron. (1679) 32/2 King William..upon faith given returns to London. 1685 H. CONSETT Prac. Spir. Courts 265 If the Plaintiff doth personally make Faith, that [etc.].


b. on the faith of: in reliance on the security of.

1734 tr. Rollin's Anc. Hist. (1827) I. 344 They traded there on the faith of treaties. 1839 THIRLWALL Greece VII. lvii. 204 On the faith of his oath they had placed themselves in his power. 1866 CRUMP Banking i. 28 The bank-note is circulated entirely upon the faith of the issuing bank. 1890 SIR R. ROMER in Law Times' Rep. LXIII. 685/2 The plaintiff applied for shares..on the faith of the prospectus.


III. The obligation imposed by a trust.

9. a. The duty of fulfilling one's trust; allegiance owed to a superior, fealty; the obligation of a promise or engagement.

c1250 Gen. & Ex. 2187 Bi {edh}e fei{edh} ic o{ygh} to king pharaon. c1330 R. BRUNNE Chron. (1810) 333 {Th}e best were {th}an in his feith. 1389 in Eng. Gilds (1870) 39 The feyth {th}at {th}ei owen to God. 14.. Customs of Malton in Surtees Misc. (1890) 63 He schall never clame no thyng..bott alonly hys faythe for hys.. lande. c1489 CAXTON Sonnes of Aymon xxv. 538 Vpon the feyth that ye owe to me. 1568 GRAFTON Chron. II. 78 Untill he were returned unto his fayth. 1598 W. PHILLIPS Linschoten in Arb. Garner III. 15 The Lords..took their oaths of faith and allegiance unto Don Philip. 1671 MILTON Samson 987 Who to save Her countrey from a fierce destroyer, chose Above the faith of wedlock-bands. 1863 M. HOWITT tr. F. Bremer's Greece I. vii. 245 To give their faith and obedience to the French monarch.


b. In many phrases, in which the sense approaches that of 8: to engage, pledge, plight (one's) faith; {dag}to swear, perjure one's faith; to keep ({dag}hold), break, violate (one's) faith; so breach of faith.

c1320 Seuyn Sag. (W.) 3274 For glotonye he brake his fayth. c1374 CHAUCER Former Age 48 Everych of hem his feith to oother kepte. c1400 MANDEVILLE (1839) xii. 138 Non of hem holdethe Feythe to another. 1483 CAXTON Cato Bj, A man ought..to kepe feyth unto his frendes. 1588 SHAKES. L.L.L. V. ii. 283 Berowne hath plighted faith to me. c1592 MARLOWE Jew of Malta II. ii. Faith is not to be held with heretics. 1665 MANLEY Grotius' Low C. Warres 339 No Faith is to be held with such as differ from them. 1697 DRYDEN Virg. Past. viii. 25, I my Nisa's perjur'd Faith deplore. 1700 {emem} Palamon & Arcite 78 For you alone, I broke my Faith with injur'd Palamon. 1781 GIBBON Decl. & F. II. 129 The two princes mutually engaged their faith never to [etc.]. 1874 STUBBS Const. Hist. (1875) II. xv. 296 He led the way and kept faith.


10. The quality of fulfilling one's trust; faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty. {dag}to bear faith: to be loyal to.

c1250 Gen. & Ex. 2678 {Edh}at him sal fei{edh} wur{edh}ful ben boren. a1300 Cursor M. 6980 (Cott.) {Th}air faith lasted littel space, {th}ai..lefte {th}e lagh of hei drightin. c1391 CHAUCER Astrol. Prol. 2 Alle that him feyth bereth & obeieth. 1393 GOWER Conf. III. 70 Thus he..feigneth under guile feith. 1590 SHAKES. Mids. N. III. ii. 127 Bearing the badge of faith to proue them true. 1593 {emem} 2 Hen VI, V. i, 166 Oh where is Faith? Oh, where is Loyalty? 1649 EVELYN Mem. (1857) III. 40 Persons of great faith to his Majesty's cause. 1741 MIDDLETON Cicero I. VI. 492 Illustrious for victory and faith. 1810 T. JEFFERSON Writ. (1830) IV. 137 Confidence..in our faith and probity. 1844 H. H. WILSON Brit. India II. 166 Indignant at his want of faith.


11. good faith, bad faith: = L. bona, mala fides, in which the primary notion seems to have been the objective aspect of confidence well or ill bestowed. The Eng. uses closely follow those of L. a. good faith: fidelity, loyalty (= sense 10); esp. honesty of intention in entering into engagements, sincerity in professions, BONA FIDES.

c1340 Cursor M. 6778 (Fairf.) To vse gode fai{th} god vs bede. 1480 CAXTON Chron. Eng. ccxxv. 230 By good feyth and trust. 1824 MACKINTOSH Sp. Ho. Com. 15 June Wks. 1846 III. 464 They have been able to observe good faith with their creditors. 1871 BLACKIE Four Phases i. 37 Among what..men..are fellowship and good faith possible? 1885 SIR J. HANNEN in Law Reports 15 Q. Bench Div. 139 It is admitted that the magistrates..acted in good faith.


b. bad faith: faithlessness, treachery; intent to deceive. Punic (rarely Carthaginian) faith (= L. fides Punica): faithlessness.

1631 MASSINGER Believe as you List II. ii, The Punicque faith is branded by Our enemies. 1653 H. COGAN tr. Pinto's Trav. xlvi. 179 The bad faith of the Chineses. 1711 STEELE Spect. No. 174 {page}2 Carthaginian Faith was a proverbial Phrase to intimate Breach of Leagues. 1768-74 TUCKER Lt. Nat. (1852) II. 318 French faith became the same among us, as Punic faith had been among the Romans.


12. In asseverative phrases. a. in (good) faith: in truth, really, ‘sooth to say’.

c1350 Will. Palerne 858 And fayn sche wold {th}an is fei{th} haue fold him in hire armes. c1386 CHAUCER Can. Yeom. Prol. & T. 91 He is to wys in feith, as I bileeue. 1393 GOWER Conf. III. 25 In good feith to telle soth I trowe..She wolde nought her eye swerve. c1400 Destr. Troy 735 {Th}ou failes not in faith of a fowle end. 1513 MORE Rich. III in Grafton Chron. II. 769 In good fayth..I would not be he that [etc.]. 1599 MINSHEU Dial. Sp. & Eng. (1623) 28 In faith this mule hath taken degree in Zalamanca. 1755 SMOLLETT Quix. (1803) 107 In good faith, we have no poor kindred now.


b. in faith, i' faith, faith, good faith: used interjectionally.

c1420 Sir Amadace (Camd.) xii, Nedelonges most I sitte him by. Hi-fath, ther wille him non mon butte I. 1513 MORE Rich. III in Grafton Chron. I. 781 In faith man..I was never so sory. c1530 REDFORDE Play Wit & Sc. (1848) 11 Do ye fle, ifayth? 1586 A. DAY Eng. Secretary II. (1625) 48 Faith sir..tis but as the wiser sort doe hold opinion. 1594 SHAKES. Rich. III, II. iv. 16 Good faith, good faith, the saying did not hold. 1607 TOURNEUR Rev. Trag. V. iii, Y'faith, we're well. 1709 Tatler No. 110 {page}4 Faith Isaac..thou art a very unaccountable old Fellow. 1777 SHERIDAN Sch. Scand. III. i, Speak to me thus, and i'faith there's nothing I could refuse you. 1795 BURNS For a' That iv, Gude faith, he mauna fa' that. 1840 DICKENS Barn. Rudge v, I'd rather be in old John's chimney-corner, faith. 1849 JAMES Woodman v, Good faith, he has no choice. 1855 BROWNING Bp. Blougram's Apol., Cool i'faith! We ought to have our Abbey back you see.


c. In quasi-oaths. by or on my, thy, etc., faith, by the faith of (my body, love, etc.). my faith (= Fr. ma foi!).

c1350 Will. Palerne 275 Now telle me, felawe, be {th}i fei{ygh}{th}..sei {th}ou euer {th}emperour? c1420 Sir Amadace (Camd.) lxi, But, be my faythe, with-outun stryue. c1477 CAXTON Jason 36b, By your faith seme ye good that I ought to go after him. c1489 CAXTON Blanchardyn xxiii. 75 On my feyth ye be well the man. 1588 Marprel. Epist. (Arb.) 5 By my faith, by my faith..this geare goeth hard with vs. 1600 SHAKES. A.Y.L. III. ii. 450 By the faith of my loue, I will. 1601 {emem} All's Well II. i. 84 Now by my faith and honour. 1798 COLERIDGE Anc. Mar. VII. iv, Strange, by my faith! the Hermit said. 1871 BROWNING Pr. Hohenst. 1421 Weapons outflourished in the wind, my faith!


¶13. An alleged designation for a company of merchants.

1486 Bk. St. Alban's Fvija, A faith of Marchandis.


IV. 14. Comb. Chiefly objective, as faith-breach, -breaker, -philosophy, -state, -stretcher, -value; faith-definition, -reformation, -tradition; faith-breaking, -keeping n. and adj.; faith-confirming, -infringing, -shaking, -sown, -starved, -straining, {dag}-workful adjs.; faith-wise adv.; faith-cure, a cure wrought by means of ‘the prayer of faith’ (Jas. v. 15); whence faith-curer, -curist, one who believes in or practises faith-cure; faith-fire, fig. the flame of faith; faith-healer = faith-curer; faith-healing, healing by faith-cure; faith-ladder (see quot. a1910); faith-mark, one of the leading tenets of religion; faith-press, the Inquisition.

1605 SHAKES. Macb. V. ii. 18 Now minutely Reuolts vpbraid his *Faith-breach. c1440 Promp. Parv. 153 *Feythe breke(r), fidifragus. 1561 T. NORTON Calvin's Inst. IV. xx. (1634) 736 They are false Faith-breakers in their office. a1649 DRUMMOND OF HAWTHORNDEN Hist. Jas. II Wks. (1711) 30 They declare the king, and those that abode with him, faith-breakers. 1852 C. M. YONGE Cameos II. xxi. 236 He was..no faith-breaker. 1625 K. LONG tr. Barclay's Argenis III. vii. 174 The very instant of her *faith-breaking. 1654 GAYTON Pleas. Notes III. viii. 123 The..covetous Faith-breaking Senate. 1645 QUARLES Sol. Recant. 56 *Faith-confirming Charity. 1885 Century Mag. XXXI. 274 A *faith-cure is a cure wrought by God in answer to prayer. 1888 Pop. Sc. Monthly XXXII. 507 The miracles claimed by the *faith-curers. 1888 N.Y. Herald 29 July 16/6 Great preparations are being made by the *Faith-Curists..for their annual conference. 1665 J. SERGEANT Sure-footing in Chr. 209 But he will finde no such fopperies in *Faith-definitions made by the Catholick Church. 1890 MCCAVE & BREEN Alcester Lect. 40 Neighbouring bishops were expected to keep the *faith-fire ablaze along their frontiers. 1885 Century Mag. XXXI. 276 We claim that all *faith-healers should report as do our hospitals. 1885 G. ALLEN in Longm. Mag. VII. 85 Persons who believe in *faith-healing. 1621 R. BRATHWAIT Natures Embassie (1877) 24 A *faith-infringing Polymnestor. 1605 VERSTEGAN Dec. Intell. viii. 253 This was..giuen..in recomendation of loyaltie or *faith-keeping. 1648 FAIRFAX, etc. Remonstrance 30 For point of Faith-keeping..witnesse his Accords with the Scottish Nation. a1849 J. C. MANGAN Poems (1859) 383 The faith-keeping Prince of the Scotts. 1909 W. JAMES Pluralistic Universe viii. 328 In some of my lectures at Harvard I have spoken of what I call the ‘*faith-ladder’. a1910 {emem} Some Probl. Philos. (1911) App. 224 The following steps may be called the ‘faith ladder’: 1. There is nothing absurd in a certain view of the world being true, nothing self-contradictory; 2. It might have been true under certain conditions; 3. It may be true, even now; 4. It is fit to be true; 5. It ought to be true; 6. It must be true; 7. It shall be true, at any rate true for me. Obviously this is no intellectual chain of inferences, like the sorites of the text-books. 1822 SYD. SMITH Wks. (1859) II. 8/2 When once the ancient *faith~marks of the Church are lost sight of. 1846 J. D. MORELL Hist. View Philos. II. vii. 311 Haumann had..attempted to found a system of *faith-philosophy..but it was Jacobi who first brought the faith-philosophy into repute. 1624 T. SCOTT Lawfuln. Netherlandish War 14 That most intolerable..thraldome of the Inquisition, or *Faith-presse. 1665 J. SERGEANT Sure-footing in Chr. 233 The..most refin'd quintessence of all *Faith-Reformation. 1896 Westm. Gaz. 21 Dec. 2/3 Could anything be more *faith-shaking than this halt of several weeks in the negotiations? 1844 J. G. WHITTIER Wks. (1898) 197/2 *Faith-sown seeds Which ripen in the soil of love. 1946 R. CAMPBELL Talking Bronco 69 Where *faith-starved multitudes may quarry As in a mountain, and be fed. 1896 Amer. Jrnl. Psychol. Apr. 315 The state of confidence, trust,..which we have found..in every conversion considered is the *Faith-state. 1924 W. B. SELBIE Psychol. Relig. 158 To induce what psychologists call the faith state may be a very great and wonderful thing if the object of faith is worthy, i.e. God or Christ. 1897 ‘MARK TWAIN’ Following Equator 172 Here are some *faith-straining figures. 1676 MARVELL Gen. Councils Wks. 1875 IV. 126 Those *faith-stretchers..that put mens consciences upon the torture. 1665 J. SERGEANT Sure-footing in Chr. 43 A compleat and proper notion of *Faith-Tradition. 1903 G. TYRRELL Lex Orandi xxiii. 191 Mistakings of *faith-values for fact-values are to be ascribed to that almost ineradicable materialism of the human mind which makes us view the visible world as the only solid reality. 1869 W. P. MACKAY Grace & Truth (1875) 72 Salvation came intellect-wise, and not *faith-wise. 1604 BROUGHTON Corrupt. Handl. Relig. (1605) 93 Troup~full Gad was grauen in this *faithworkfull stone.




faith, n.

* faith-based adj. chiefly U.S. (a) based on religious faith; (b) designating or relating to a charitable institution, social program, etc., created or managed by a religious organization.

1874 J. H. VOSBURG Ralph Elmwood 71 All God's gifts are free, and hope is real, *Faith-based, to those who will not think, but feel. 1972 Amer. Lit. 44 395 Ahab equates fear with orthodox belief, the faith-based laws of which he defies. 1986 Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald-Jrnl. 7 Jan. B3/2 Witness for Peace is a grassroots, non-violent, faith-based movement committed to changing U.S. policy toward Nicaragua. 1998 Newsweek 1 June 26/2 Congress..has swung behind a series of policy changes..which allow federal, state and local funds to flow to faith-based anti-poverty groups. 2001 Newsday 1 Feb. A37 George W. Bush's 'faith-based' initiative could be the best, or the worst, new idea of his presidency. The idea is to put God to work solving social problems.


* act of faith n. an action demonstrating (religious) faith; cf. sense 5.

1582 Bible (Rheims) Rom. iii. 22 (margin) To beleeue in him, here compriseth not only the act of faith, but of hope & charitie, as the Apostle explicateth him self. a1616 R. FIELD Of Church Fiue Bks. (1628) III. App. 211 If the priest therefore not onely outwardly, but inwardly also, by the acte of faith, present the sufferings of Christ in the body of his flesh to God,..hee bringeth much good vpon himselfe. 1705 J. COLLIER Ess. Moral Subj. III. 16 'Twas a noble Act of faith to throw themselves upon Providence. 1802 Ann. Reg. 1801 (Otridge) I. 11 Money..has now..become..a metaphysical thing: and the Act of Faith, in which it consists, is expressed with great propriety on the thinnest paper. 1895 Athenæum 23 Feb. 242/3 Pre-suppositions, axioms, postulates.., are discovered by analysis to be a necessary ingredient of knowledge; and their acceptance is an act of faith, which is justified by its results. 1939 V. A. DEMANT Relig. Prospect vii. 186 The ‘existential theology’ declares that human life can gain religious meaning only by a bare act of faith. 2000 J. CAUGHIE Television Drama ix. 232 Critique is replaced by commentary, and by an act of faith in the capacity of consumers to do surprising and amazing things with what they daily receive.


* faith school n. Brit. a school attended by students belonging to a particular faith.

1990 Independent 25 Mar. (Sunday Rev.) 44/1 They have recently joined forces with the Muslims to demand government funding for separate *faith schools against the prevailing trend of multi-faith education. 2002 New Internationalist May 27/2 In Britain they have also succeeded in obtaining state funding for faith schools{em}putting them on a par with children from Christian and Jewish backgrounds.

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