Suspension of Disbelief: What Does this Popular Idiom Mean? with Examples

You may have heard someone using the term suspension of disbelief during an English conversation, but what is the meaning behind this saying? We are going to find out what the term means as well as looking at some examples of how it can be used in day to day speech. We will also be looking at where the saying came from in the first instance.

Suspension of Disbelief

Suspension of Disbelief Meaning

The meaning of the term suspension of disbelief refers to the temporary end of a belief which would normally be shown to be incredible. The term is usually used as a literary device.

Origin of the phrase

The origin of the phrase suspension of disbelief can be found in the early 1800s when it was used to describe the ideas of literature in a text written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

“Suspension of Disbelief” Examples

Examples in Statements

There may be many sentences in which the term suspension of disbelief might appear. We are now going to look at some examples of this.

The first statement is being made by a TV show which supports the idea of ghost hunting.

  • You may not believe what you see at first sight but you will certainly have a suspension of disbelief once you see the footage we have recorded.

The second statement is one being made in a diary.

  • I always thought that unicorns were not real but reading the book The Unicorn, I had a suspension of disbelief.

Conversation Examples

We are now going to take a look at some examples of conversations in which the term suspension of disbelief may be seen.

The first conversation is happening between two friends after watching a play about aliens.

  • Person 1: “That was amazing, it really got me thinking.”
  • Person 2: “Me too, I had a real suspension of disbelief hearing those stories.”

The second conversation is taking place between a mother and son who live in a haunted house.

  • Person 1: “Mom, I never really believed in ghosts until we lived here.”
  • Person 2: “Nor did I.”
  • Person 1: “It has created a true suspension of disbelief.”

Other Ways to Say “Suspension of Disbelief”

There may be other ways in which you can say the term suspension of disbelief, Let’s now take a look at some examples of how you might do this.

  • Acceptance of unbelievable events
  • Sacrifice logic

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