Date: 14th century
a. a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances <had perfect confidence in her ability to succeed> <met the risk with brash confidence> b. faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way <have confidence in a leader> 2. the quality or state of being certain ; certitude <they had every confidence of success> 3. a. a relation of trust or intimacy <took his friend into his confidence> b. reliance on another's discretion <their story was told in strictest confidence> c. support especially in a legislative body <vote of confidence> 4. a communication made in confidence ; secret <accused him of betraying a confidence> Synonyms: confidence, assurance, self-possession, aplomb mean a state of mind or a manner marked by easy coolness and freedom from uncertainty, diffidence, or embarrassment. confidence stresses faith in oneself and one's powers without any suggestion of conceit or arrogance <the confidence that comes from long experience>. assurance carries a stronger implication of certainty and may suggest arrogance or lack of objectivity in assessing one's own powers <handled the cross-examination with complete assurance>. self-possession implies an ease or coolness under stress that reflects perfect self-control and command of one's powers <answered the insolent question with complete self-possession>. aplomb implies a manifest self-possession in trying or challenging situations <handled the reporters with great aplomb>. II. adjective Date: 1849 of, relating to, or adept at swindling by false promises <a confidence game> <a confidence man>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.