Etymology
Advertisement

faith (n.)

mid-13c., faith, feith, fei, fai "faithfulness to a trust or promise; loyalty to a person; honesty, truthfulness," from Anglo-French and Old French feid, foi "faith, belief, trust, confidence; pledge" (11c.), from Latin fides "trust, faith, confidence, reliance, credence, belief," from root of fidere "to trust,"from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade." For sense evolution, see belief. Accommodated to other English abstract nouns in -th (truth, health, etc.).

From early 14c. as "assent of the mind to the truth of a statement for which there is incomplete evidence," especially "belief in religious matters" (matched with hope and charity). Since mid-14c. in reference to the Christian church or religion; from late 14c. in reference to any religious persuasion.

And faith is neither the submission of the reason, nor is it the acceptance, simply and absolutely upon testimony, of what reason cannot reach. Faith is: the being able to cleave to a power of goodness appealing to our higher and real self, not to our lower and apparent self. [Matthew Arnold, "Literature & Dogma," 1873]

From late 14c. as "confidence in a person or thing with reference to truthfulness or reliability," also "fidelity of one spouse to another." Also in Middle English "a sworn oath," hence its frequent use in Middle English oaths and asseverations (par ma fay, mid-13c.; bi my fay, c. 1300).

Origin and meaning of faith
Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of faith

faith (n.)
a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny;
he lost his faith but not his morality
Synonyms: religion / religious belief
faith (n.)
complete confidence in a person or plan etc;
he cherished the faith of a good woman
Synonyms: trust
faith (n.)
an institution to express belief in a divine power;
a member of his own faith contradicted him
Synonyms: religion / organized religion
faith (n.)
loyalty or allegiance to a cause or a person;
they broke faith with their investors
keep the faith
From wordnet.princeton.edu