- to acknowledge or avow (a fault, crime, misdeed, weakness, etc.) by way of revelation.
- to own or admit as true: I must confess that I haven't read the book.
- to declare or acknowledge (one's sins), especially to God or a priest in order to obtain absolution.
- (of a priest) to hear the confession of (a person).
- to acknowledge one's belief or faith in; declare adherence to.
- to reveal by circumstances.
- to make confession plead guilty; own: to confess to a crime.
- to make confession of sins, especially to a priest.
- (of a priest) to hear confession.
Origin of confess
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for confess
I have to confess, I had no idea that Whitney had a rumored gay lover before reading about your role in this movie.Inside the Lifetime Whitney Houston Movie’s Lesbian Lover Storyline
December 16, 2014
And, again, I now confess, I had an occasional Bourbon and stoogie on the cuff.
I will now confess that I spent some time in the lobby of the Willard Hotel myself.
Spitz “persuaded Schwend that his best chance would be to confess his activities with the RSHA and to cooperate with us.”On the Trail of Nazi Counterfeiters
Dr. Kevin C. Ruffner
September 20, 2014
During their incarceration, they were humiliated and forced to confess on national television.Iran Court Sentences ‘Happy’ Dancers to 6 months and 91 Lashes
September 17, 2014
I confess, Eudora, it pained me to see you listen to his idle flattery.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
How is it possible for me to confess, when I tell you I know nothing about her?
To confess the strange truth, he never told me you were musical.
Out of your bed and down on your knees to your own blessed father, and confess your sins.
It is not easy for an Anglo-Saxon to confess the realities of affection in vital intimacies.Within the Law
- (when intr, often foll by to) to make an acknowledgment or admission (of faults, misdeeds, crimes, etc)
- (tr) to admit or grant to be true; concede
- Christianity, mainly RC Church to declare (one's sins) to God or to a priest as his representative, so as to obtain pardon and absolution
Word Origin and History for confess
late 14c., from Old French confesser (transitive and intransitive), from Vulgar Latin *confessare, from Latin confess-, past participle stem of confiteri "to acknowledge," from com- "together" (see com-) + fateri "to admit," akin to fari "speak" (see fame (n.)).
Its original religious sense was of one who avows his religion in spite of persecution or danger but does not suffer martyrdom. Old French confesser thus had a figurative sense of "to harm, hurt, make suffer." Related: Confessed; confessing. An Old English word for it was andettan.