• synonyms


  1. a simple past tense of shrive.
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Origin of shrove

Middle English shroof, Old English scrāf


verb (used with object), shrove or shrived, shriv·en or shrived, shriv·ing.
  1. to impose penance on (a sinner).
  2. to grant absolution to (a penitent).
  3. to hear the confession of (a person).
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verb (used without object), shrove or shrived, shriv·en or shrived, shriv·ing. Archaic.
  1. to hear confessions.
  2. to go to or make confession; confess one's sins, as to a priest.
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Origin of shrive

before 900; Middle English shriven, schrifen, Old English scrīfan to prescribe, cognate with German schreiben to write ≪ Latin scrībere; see scribe1
Related formsun·shrived, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for shrove

purge, acquit, pardon, absolve, repent, forgive, atone, free

Examples from the Web for shrove

Historical Examples of shrove

  • This had once already, on Shrove Tuesday, 1604, been used for a play.

    Shakespearean Playhouses

    Joseph Quincy Adams

  • Shrove Sunday has its range between the 1st of February and the 7th of March.

  • Shrove Tuesday happened to be a few days after we had sold the cow.

    Nobody's Boy

    Hector Malot

  • There had been an unusual amount of talk this year about the parade on Shrove Tuesday.

    The Goose Man

    Jacob Wassermann

  • But on certain occasions, such as Shrove Tuesday, for instance, ah!

British Dictionary definitions for shrove


  1. a past tense of shrive
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verb shrives, shriving, shrove, shrived, shriven (ˈʃrɪvən) or shrived mainly RC Church
  1. to hear the confession of (a penitent)
  2. (tr) to impose a penance upon (a penitent) and grant him sacramental absolution
  3. (intr) to confess one's sins to a priest in order to obtain sacramental forgiveness
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Derived Formsshriver, noun

Word Origin for shrive

Old English scrīfan, from Latin scrībere to write
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 shrove


"shrift, shriving," 1570s, shortened from Shrovetide (early 15c.), from schrof-, related to schrifen (see shrive). Shrove Tuesday (c.1500) is from practice of celebration and merrymaking before going to confession at the beginning of Lent.

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Old English scrifan "assign, prescribe, ordain, decree; impose penance, hear confession; have regard for, care for," apparently originally "to write" (strong, past tense scraf, past participle scrifen), from West Germanic *skriban (cf. Old Saxon scriban, Old Frisian skriva "write; impose penance;" Old Dutch scrivan, Dutch schrijven, German schreiben "to write, draw, paint;" Danish skrifte "confess"), an early borrowing from Latin scribere "to write" (see script (n.)), which in Old English and Scandinavian developed further to "confess, hear confession."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper