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Word of the Day
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Definitions for shrive

  1. to grant absolution to (a penitent).
  2. to impose penance on (a sinner).
  3. to hear the confession of (a person).

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Citations for shrive
Father Hugo says that in time of war, even if there is no priest to shrive you, your sins can be forgiven this way. Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber, 1992
"Shrive me quickly, then," she said, laughing. "Now, without confession? Would you have me read your thoughts and give penance?" H. Bedford-Jones, "The Mardi Gras Mystery," Short Stories, August 1920
Origin of shrive
Shrive is a borrowing from Latin scrībere “to write, draw” and occurs in all the Germanic languages except Gothic, e.g., Old Norse skrifa “to write, draw,” Old High German scrîban, German schreiben. Old English scrīfan and Middle English shriven, schrifen mean “to impose a penance on (a penitent)” and by extension “to hear (someone’s) confession, absolve (someone).” Shrive entered English before 900.