Definition of confidence in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkänfədəns/


1The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust: we had every confidence in the staff he had gained the young man’s confidence
More example sentences
  • It does seem, however, that the loss of certainty about what America stands for is part of a broader sense of despair and loss of confidence in belief and values.
  • But we'll be going there with plenty of confidence in the belief that we can get the result we want.
  • They go to the heart of the public's belief and confidence in the integrity of its public representatives.
1.1The state of feeling certain about the truth of something: it is not possible to say with confidence how much of the increase in sea levels is due to melting glaciers
More example sentences
  • When there is a plan in place and a method for carrying it out, there is a sense of confidence and assurance that the outcome will be positive.
  • Grant us a sense of confidence and certitude that challenges all doubt and disappointment.
  • The election is so near, and the polls so close, that it's now a mug's game to predict the outcome with anything approaching confidence, let alone certainty.
1.2A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities: she’s brimming with confidence [in singular]: he would walk up those steps with a confidence he didn’t feel
More example sentences
  • Optimism is the ability to maintain confidence and enthusiasm and view the world positively.
  • His confidence and his ability to keep one step ahead of the questions are masterful.
  • Their confidence and self-assurance is indeed palpable, as is their ability to express themselves uninhibitedly.
1.3The telling of private matters or secrets with mutual trust: someone with whom you may raise your suspicions in confidence
More example sentences
  • If you are someone who is anxious, depressed or having a problem do come along to this clinic where you can discuss in confidence any matters you need to.
  • Ultimately, in fact, the young person, whose medical practitioner must keep the matter in confidence, gets to make that choice.
  • Any local police matters or advice on council matters may be raised in confidence.
1.4 (often confidences) A secret or private matter told to someone under a condition of trust: the girls exchanged confidences about their parents
More example sentences
  • In that stillness, the vastness of the energy touched deep seeds of consciousness in them as they trusted me with their confidences and secrets.
  • And there are the autobiographical grasses, exposing old secrets and betraying ancient confidences in exchange for sales.
  • The solid looking citizen with the shock of white hair always had the appearance of someone who could be trusted with confidences.



in someone's confidence

In a position of trust with someone.
Example sentences
  • ‘It's a delicate position to be so much in their confidence,’ she angrily retorted.
  • Though you were formerly deep in his confidence, just as you are in mine, still she is of higher standing than anyone here present, including myself.
  • Like a flash it came over me that the maid was in her confidence.

take someone into one's confidence

Tell someone one’s secrets.
Example sentences
  • When someone takes us into their confidence, we should regard their secret as a sacred trust.
  • Smaller and weaker he may be, but he still has the capacity to make a crowd feel he is taking them into his confidence.
  • Within a short period of time women and men were taking me into their confidence and I felt that I was truly a part of their community and lives.


Late Middle English: from Latin confidentia, from confidere 'have full trust' (see confident).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·fi·dence

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