Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A conviction of the truth of a proposition, existing subjectively in the mind, and induced by argument, persuasion or proof addressed to the judgment. Kelier v. State, 102 Ga. 506, 31 S. E. 92. Belief is to be distinguished from "proof," "evidence," and "testimony." See Evidence. With regard to things which make not a very deep impression on the memory, it may be called "belief." "Knowledge" is nothing more than a man's firm belief. The difference is ordinarily merely in the degree; to be judged of by the court, when addressed to the court; by the jury, when addressed to the jury. Hatch v. Carpenter, 9 Gray (Mass.) 274. The distinction between the two mental conditions seems to be that knowledge is an assurance of a fact or proposition founded on perception by the senses, or intuition; while belief is an assurance gained by evidence, and from other persons. Abbott.