- the imposition of penance by a priest on a penitent after confession.
- absolution or remission of sins granted after confession and penance.
- confession to a priest.
Origin of shrift
Examples from the Web for shrift
He lost his place, his money, and at last came to beg for shrift and punishment.Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln
Charles L. Marson
His shrift of the morning, hurried and formal as it had been, had softened him.Hereward, The Last of the English
Under show of shrift, or, in other words, as coming to hear me confess.A Select Collection of Old English Plays
In the nature of things he felt that his own shrift must necessarily be short.The Real Man
Nor dare you go near him on your own account, or short would be your shrift.A King's Comrade
- archaic the act or an instance of shriving or being shrivenSee also short shrift
Word Origin and History for shrift
Old English scrift "confession to priest, followed by penance and absolution," verbal noun from scrifan "to impose penance," from an early Germanic borrowing of Latin scribere "to write" (see script (n.)) that produced nouns for "penance, confession" in Old English and Scandinavian (cf. Old Norse skrjpt "penance, confession"), but elsewhere in Germanic is used in senses "writing, scripture, alphabet letter;" see shrive. Short shrift originally was the brief time for a condemned criminal to confess before execution (1590s); figurative extension to "little or no consideration" is first attested 1814.
Idioms and Phrases with shrift
see short shrift.