[ kuhn-fes ]
See synonyms for: confessconfessedconfesses on

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.

  1. to declare or acknowledge (one's sins), especially to God or a priest in order to obtain absolution.

  2. (of a priest) to hear the confession of (a person).

  3. to acknowledge one's belief or faith in; declare adherence to.

  4. to reveal by circumstances.

verb (used without object)
  1. to make confession plead guilty; own: to confess to a crime.

  2. to make confession of sins, especially to a priest.

  1. (of a priest) to hear confession.

Origin of confess

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

synonym study For confess

1. See acknowledge.

Other words for confess

Opposites for confess

Other words from confess

  • con·fess·a·ble, adjective
  • con·fess·ingly, adverb
  • half-con·fessed, adjective
  • pre·con·fess, verb (used with object)
  • un·con·fessed, adjective
  • un·con·fess·ing, adjective

Words Nearby confess Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use confess in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for confess


/ (kənˈfɛs) /

verb(when tr, 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. (tr) to admit or grant to be true; concede

  1. 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

Origin of confess

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

Derived forms of confess

  • confessable, adjective

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