definition of trust by The Free Dictionary





a. Firm belief in the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing; confidence or reliance: trying to gain our clients’ trust; taking it on trust that our friend is telling the truth.

b. The condition and resulting obligation of having confidence placed in one: violated a public trust.

c. One in which confidence is placed.


a. Custody; care: left her papers in my trust during her illness.

b. Something committed into the care of another; a charge: violated a public trust.


a. Reliance on something in the future; hope: We have trust that the future will be better.

b. Reliance on the intention and ability of a purchaser to pay in the future; credit: bought the supplies on trust from a local dealer.

4. Law

a. A legal relationship in which one party holds a title to property while another party has the entitlement to the beneficial use of that property.

b. The confidence reposed in a trustee when giving the trustee legal title to property to administer for another, together with the trustee’s obligation regarding that property and the beneficiary.

c. The property so held.

5. An institution or organization directed by trustees: a charitable trust.

6. A combination of firms or corporations for the purpose of reducing competition and controlling prices throughout a business or industry.

v. trust·ed, trust·ing, trusts


a. To have or place confidence in; depend on: only trusted his friends; did not trust the strength of the thin rope; could not be trusted to oversee so much money.

b. To have confidence in allowing (someone) to use, know, or look after something: Can I trust you with a secret?

2. To expect with assurance; assume: I trust that you will be on time.

3. To give credence to; believe: I trust what you say.

4. To place in the care of another person or in a situation deemed safe; entrust: “the unfortunate souls who trusted their retirement savings to the stock” (Bill Barnhart).

5. To extend credit to.


1. To have or place reliance; depend: We can only trust in our guide’s knowledge of the terrain.

2. To be confident; hope.


in trust

In the possession or care of a trustee.

trust′er n.

Synonyms: trust, faith, confidence, reliance
These nouns denote a feeling of certainty that a person or thing will not fail. Trust implies depth and assurance of feeling that is often based on inconclusive evidence: The mayor vowed to justify the trust the electorate had placed in him. Faith connotes unquestioning, often emotionally charged belief: “Often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true” (William James).
Confidence frequently implies stronger grounds for assurance: “The experience … made me want to be a surgeon—not an amateur handed the knife for a brief moment but someone with the confidence and ability to proceed as if it were routine” (Atul Gawande).
Reliance connotes a confident and trustful commitment to another: “What reliance could they place on the protection of a prince so recently their enemy?” (William Hickling Prescott). See Also Synonyms at care, rely.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




1. reliance on and confidence in the truth, worth, reliability, etc, of a person or thing; faith.

2. (Commerce) a group of commercial enterprises combined to monopolize and control the market for any commodity: illegal in the US

3. the obligation of someone in a responsible position: a position of trust.

4. custody, charge, or care: a child placed in my trust.

5. a person or thing in which confidence or faith is placed

6. (Banking & Finance) commercial credit

7. (Law)

a. an arrangement whereby a person to whom the legal title to property is conveyed (the trustee) holds such property for the benefit of those entitled to the beneficial interest

b. property that is the subject of such an arrangement

c. the confidence put in the trustee. fiduciary

8. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in the British National Health Service) a self-governing hospital, group of hospitals, or other body providing health-care services, which operates as an independent commercial unit within the NHS

10. (Law) (modifier) of or relating to a trust or trusts: trust property.


11. (tr; may take a clause as object) to expect, hope, or suppose: I trust that you are well.

12. (when: tr, may take an infinitive; when intr, often foll by in or to) to place confidence in (someone to do something); have faith (in); rely (upon): I trust him to tell her.

13. (tr) to consign for care: the child was trusted to my care.

14. (tr) to allow (someone to do something) with confidence in his or her good sense or honesty: I trust my daughter to go.

15. (Banking & Finance) (tr) to extend business credit to

[C13: from Old Norse traust; related to Old High German trost solace]

ˈtrustable adj

ˌtrustaˈbility n

ˈtruster n

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014




1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

2. confident expectation of something; hope.

3. confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received; credit: to sell merchandise on trust.

4. one upon which a person relies: God is my trust.

5. the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.

6. the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed: a position of trust.

7. charge, custody, or care: leaving valuables in someone’s trust.

8. something committed or entrusted to one’s care for use or safekeeping; charge.


a. a fiduciary relationship in which a trustee holds title to property for the beneficiary.

b. the property so held.


a. an illegal combination of industrial or commercial companies in which the stock of the constituent companies is controlled by a central board of trustees, thus making it possible to minimize production costs, control prices, eliminate competition, etc.

b. any large corporation or combination having monopolistic or semimonopolistic control over the production of a commodity or service.

11. Archaic. reliability.


12. to have trust or confidence in; rely or depend on.

13. to believe.

14. to expect confidently; hope: I trust that the job will soon be finished.

15. to commit or consign with trust or confidence.

16. to permit to stay or go somewhere or to do something without fear of consequences: He doesn’t trust them out of his sight.

17. to invest with a trust; entrust with something.

18. to give credit to (a person) for goods, services, etc., supplied.


19. to place confidence; rely (usu. fol. by in or to): trusting to luck.

20. to have confidence; hope.

21. to sell merchandise on credit.


in trust, in the care or guardianship of another, esp. a trustee.

[1175–1225; Middle English, ultimately traust trust, c. Old High German trōst consolation, Gothic trausti covenant; akin to true]

trust′a•ble, adj.

trust`a•bil′i•ty, n.

trust′er, n.

Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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