Meaning of CONFIDENCE in English


con ‧ fi ‧ dence S2 W2 /ˈkɒnfəd ə ns, ˈkɒnfɪd ə ns $ ˈkɑːn-/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ confidence , ↑ confidant , ↑ confidentiality ; adverb : ↑ confidently , ↑ confidentially ; adjective : ↑ confident , ↑ confidential ; verb : ↑ confide ]

1 . FEELING SOMEBODY/SOMETHING IS GOOD [uncountable] the feeling that you can trust someone or something to be good, work well, or produce good results

confidence in

Public confidence in the government is at an all-time low.

She had complete confidence in the doctors.

Opinion polls show that voters have lost confidence in the administration.

2 . BELIEF IN YOURSELF [uncountable] the belief that you have the ability to do things well or deal with situations successfully

confidence in

I didn’t have any confidence in myself.

confidence to do something

Good training will give a beginner the confidence to enjoy skiing.

I felt I was doing well and my confidence began to grow.

with confidence

Our goal is to prepare students to go into the business world with confidence.

3 . FEELING SOMETHING IS TRUE [uncountable] the feeling that something is definite or true

say/speak/predict etc with confidence

How can anyone say with confidence that the recession is over?

confidence in

I have complete confidence in Mr Wright’s analysis of the situation.

have confidence (that)

I have every confidence that the job will be completed satisfactorily on time.

4 . KEEP INFORMATION SECRET [uncountable] if you tell someone something in confidence, you tell them something on the understanding that they will not tell anyone else ⇨ confide

in confidence

I’ll tell you about Moira – in confidence, of course.

in strict/the strictest confidence

Any information given during the interview will be treated in the strictest confidence.

breach of confidence (=when someone tells someone something that they were told in confidence)

Lawyers are satisfied that no breach of confidence took place.

5 . take somebody into your confidence to tell someone your secrets or private or personal details about your life:

Elsa took me into her confidence and told me about some of the problems she was facing.

6 . A SECRET [countable] a secret or a piece of information that is private or personal

share/exchange confidences

They spent their evenings drinking wine and sharing confidences.

I have never betrayed a confidence.

⇨ ↑ vote of confidence , ↑ vote of no confidence

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ verbs

▪ have confidence in somebody/something

The people no longer have any confidence in their government.

▪ lose confidence in somebody/something

Employees are losing confidence in the company.

▪ gain/win sb’s confidence

As team captain, he soon won the confidence of the players.

▪ inspire confidence (=make people have confidence)

Our education system should inspire public confidence.

▪ restore confidence (=make people have confidence again)

Interest rate reductions would restore business confidence.

▪ boost confidence (=make people have more confidence)

The government is keen to boost consumer confidence and spending.

▪ shake sb’s confidence (=make them have less confidence)

The stock market fall has shaken the confidence of investors.

▪ undermine/damage/weaken sb’s confidence (=make someone have less confidence)

The situation in the US was undermining foreign confidence in the dollar.

▪ destroy/shatter confidence in somebody/something

A further crisis has destroyed public confidence in the bank.

■ phrases

▪ have every/complete/absolute confidence in somebody/something

A manager must be able to have complete confidence in his staff.

▪ a lack of confidence

the public’s lack of confidence in the National Health Service

▪ a crisis of confidence (=a situation in which people no longer trust a government, system etc)

the crisis of confidence over food safety

■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + confidence

▪ public confidence

The changes should improve public confidence in the system.

▪ consumer confidence (=that ordinary people have when the economic situation is good)

Consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest for two years.

▪ business confidence (=that businesses have when the economic situation is good)

The region has gained 46,000 jobs and business confidence is high.

▪ investor confidence (=that investors have when the economic situation is good)

A fall in the value of shares damages investor confidence.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ verbs

▪ have confidence

Young teenagers often don’t have a lot of confidence.

▪ be full of confidence

The team are full of confidence.

▪ brim with confidence (=be full of it)

Clive walked into the room, brimming with confidence as usual.

▪ exude/radiate confidence (=show it in a very noticeable way)

As the leader, you have to exude confidence and authority.

▪ lack/be lacking in confidence

She lacked the confidence to talk to people.

▪ lose (your) confidence

He’d been out of work for six months and had lost all his confidence.

▪ give somebody confidence

I had really good teachers who gave me a lot of confidence in myself.

▪ gain confidence ( also grow/gain in confidence ) (=become more confident)

Paul did well in the job and gained a lot of confidence.

▪ boost/increase sb’s confidence (=make someone feel more confident)

One of my stories was published, which really boosted my confidence.

▪ build up sb’s confidence (=gradually increase it)

When you’ve had an accident, it takes a while to build up your confidence again.

▪ undermine sb’s confidence (=gradually reduce it)

His constant criticism was undermining my confidence.

▪ dent/shake sb’s confidence (=make it less strong)

A bad experience like that can dent your confidence.

▪ destroy/shatter sb’s confidence

When she failed her degree, it shattered her confidence.

▪ sb’s confidence grows/increases

Since she started her new school, her confidence has grown a lot.

■ nouns

▪ a confidence boost

They offered me the job immediately, which was a real confidence boost.

▪ confidence building (=making it develop)

Training for a big match is all about confidence building.

■ phrases

▪ a lack of confidence

She had always suffered from insecurity and a lack of confidence.

▪ a loss of confidence

As people age, they may suffer from a loss of confidence.

• • •


▪ confidence the feeling that you have the ability to do things well, and to not make mistakes or be nervous in new situations:

You need patience and confidence to be a good teacher.

| have the confidence to do something :

‘We have the confidence to beat Brazil,’ said Sampson.


After the accident it took a long time before she had the confidence to get back in a car again.

| full of confidence (=very confident) :

I went into the test full of confidence, but it was more difficult than I had imagined.

▪ self-confidence a strong belief that you can do things well and that other people will like you, which means you behave confidently in most situations:

He’s new in the job but he has plenty of self-confidence.


Studies show that girls tend to lose some of their self-confidence in their teenage years.


Students who get some kind of work experience develop greater self-confidence and better communication skills.

▪ morale the level of confidence, satisfaction, and hope that people feel, especially a group of people who work together: low/high morale :

Morale among the soldiers has been low.

| keep up morale (=keep it at a high level) :

They sang songs to keep up their morale until the rescuers arrived.

▪ assurance/self-assurance a feeling of calm confidence in your own abilities, especially because you have a lot of experience:

She envied the older woman’s assurance.


Danby spoke to the committee with the self-assurance of an expert.

▪ self-esteem the feeling that you are someone who deserves to be liked and respected:

Getting a job did a lot for her self-esteem.


Sports should build a child’s self-esteem, not damage it.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.