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confess

[kuh n-fes] /kənˈfɛs/
verb (used with object)
1.
to acknowledge or avow (a fault, crime, misdeed, weakness, etc.) by way of revelation.
2.
to own or admit as true:
I must confess that I haven't read the book.
3.
to declare or acknowledge (one's sins), especially to God or a priest in order to obtain absolution.
4.
(of a priest) to hear the confession of (a person).
5.
to acknowledge one's belief or faith in; declare adherence to.
6.
to reveal by circumstances.
verb (used without object)
7.
to make confession plead guilty; own:
to confess to a crime.
8.
to make confession of sins, especially to a priest.
9.
(of a priest) to hear confession.
Origin of confess
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English confessen < Anglo-French, Old French confesser < Medieval Latin confessāre, verbal derivative of Latin confessus, past participle of confitērī to admit, confess, equivalent to con- con- + -fitērī, combining form of fatērī to admit
Related forms
confessable, adjective
confessingly, adverb
half-confessed, adjective
preconfess, verb (used with object)
unconfessed, adjective
unconfessing, adjective
Synonyms
2. grant, concede.
Antonyms
1. conceal. 2. deny.
Synonym Study
1. See acknowledge.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for confessed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Percival confessed to his mother that night that he had wronged Uncle Peter.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • He confessed to me that he was apt to go astray when intent on rhyme.

    Biographical Sketches Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • She was studying her material; and it must be confessed that they startled her not a little.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • What would the knight have said had he confessed to his love for the Lady Maude?

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • It must be confessed (he adds drily) that in England this is a lifelong disqualification.

British Dictionary definitions for confessed

confess

/kənˈfɛs/
verb (when transitive, may take a clause as object)
1.
when intr, often foll by to. to make an acknowledgment or admission (of faults, misdeeds, crimes, etc)
2.
(transitive) to admit or grant to be true; concede
3.
(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
Derived Forms
confessable, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French confesser, from Late Latin confessāre, from Latin confessus confessed, from confitērī to admit, from fatērī to acknowledge; related to Latin fārī to speak
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for confessed
adj.

"self-acknowledged," 1560s, past participle adjective from confess.

confess

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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