• synonyms


or fesse

noun Heraldry.
  1. an ordinary in the form of a broad horizontal band across the middle of an escutcheon.
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Origin of fess1

1350–1400; Middle English fesse < Anglo-FrenchLatin fascia fascia


or fes·sor

[fes or fes-er]
noun Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S.
  1. a teacher.
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Origin of fess3

shortening of professor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fesses

Historical Examples

  • The shields are all argent, the fesses azure, and the roundels, gules.

    The Curiosities of Heraldry

    Mark Antony Lower

  • When two or three fesses are borne they are commonly called Bars.

  • The effect is striking, and the bold colouring of fesses and chevrons lightens the sombre tone of the mahogany cases.

British Dictionary definitions for fesses


  1. (intr foll by up) informal, mainly US to make a confession
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Word Origin

C19: shortened from confess
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

Word Origin and History for fesses



shortened form of confess, attested by 1840, American English. Related: Fessed; fesses; fessing.

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"white horizontal band across an escutcheon," late 15c., from Old French faisce, from Latin fascia (see fasces).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper