Confess definition

kən-fĕs
The definition of confess is to admit wrongdoings or to make something known.

An example of to confess is to tell sins to a priest.

An example of to confess is for a person to state that he is a Christian.

verb
2
1
​ To admit to the truth, particularly in the context of sins or crimes committed.
  • Shakespeare.
    I never gave it him. Send for him hither, / And let him confess a truth.
  • Milton.
    And there confess / Humbly our faults, and pardon beg.
  • Addison.
    I must confess I was most pleased with a beautiful prospect that none of them have mentioned.

People confess to anything under torture.

verb
2
1
(religion) To unburden (oneself) of sins to a priest, in order to receive absolution.
verb
2
1
To tell (one's sins) to God, esp. in public worship service or in private.
verb
1
0
To make known (one's sins) to God or to a priest.
verb
2
2
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To acknowledge faith in; to profess belief in.
verb
1
1
(religion) To hear or receive such a confession of sins from.
verb
1
1
​ To disclose or reveal.
  • Alexander Pope.
    Tall thriving trees confessed the fruitful mould.
verb
1
1
To hear the confession of (a penitent).
verb
0
0
To admit or acknowledge something damaging or inconvenient to oneself.

The suspect confessed to the crime.

verb
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0
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To disclose one's sins to a priest.
verb
0
0
(old poet.) To be evidence of; reveal; manifest.
verb
0
0
To admit (a fault or crime)
verb
0
0
To acknowledge (an opinion or view)
verb
0
0
To hear the confession of (a person)
verb
0
0
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To take part in public confession or make one's confession to a priest.
verb
0
0
To hear confessions.
verb
0
0
To acknowledge belief or faith in; profess.

Confess one's religion.

verb
1
2
To declare one's faith in.
verb
1
2
To admit a fault or crime; acknowledge one's guilt.
verb
1
2
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To disclose (something damaging or inconvenient to oneself); admit.
verb
1
5
confess to
  • to admit or admit having; acknowledge
idiom
1
2
stand confessed as
  • to be revealed or admitted as
idiom
1
2

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

confess to
stand confessed as

Origin of confess

  • Middle English confessen from Old French confesser from Vulgar Latin cōnfessāre from Latin cōnfitērī cōnfess- com- intensive pref. com– fatērī to admit bhā-2 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English confessen, from Anglo-Norman confesser, from Old French confesser, from Medieval Latin confessō (“I confess”), a derivative of Latin confessus (Old French confés), past participle of cōnfiteor (“I confess, I admit”) from con- + fateor (“I admit”). Displaced Middle English andetten (“to confess, admit”) (from Old English andettan).

    From Wiktionary