Definition of confidence in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɒnfɪd(ə)ns/


[mass noun]
1The feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something: 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.
trust, belief, faith, credence, conviction;
reliance, dependence
1.1The state of feeling certain about the truth of something: I can say with confidence that I have never before driven up this street
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 an 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.
self-assurance, self-confidence, self-reliance, belief in oneself, faith in oneself, positiveness, assertiveness, self-possession, nerve, poise, aplomb, presence of mind, phlegm, level-headedness, cool-headedness, firmness, courage, boldness, mettle, fortitude
2The 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.
2.1 [count noun] (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.
secret, private affair, confidential matter, confidentiality, intimacy



have every confidence in

Feel that one can rely on or trust (someone): we had every confidence in the staff
More example sentences
  • Mr Fisher said he had not applied for the new post, adding: "I have every confidence in David Johnson".
  • He will certainly feel better than the unnamed punter who had every confidence in Ken's powers of recovery.
  • She said the Department had every confidence in the Board's management of its financial affairs.

in someone's confidence

In a position of trust with someone: she was never fully in his confidence
More 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: she took me into her confidence and told me about her problems
More 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

Line breaks: con|fi¦dence

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