confess
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /kənˈfɛs/
Verb

confess (confesses, present participle confessing; past and past participle confessed)

  1. To admit to the truth, particularly in the context of sins or crimes committed.
    I confess to spray-painting all over that mural!
    I confess, that I am a sinner.
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene ii]:
      I never gave it him. Send for him hither, / And let him confess a truth.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 9”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      And there confess / Humbly our faults, and pardon beg.
    • 1705 (revised 1718), Joseph Addison, Remarks on Several Parts of Italy
      I must confess I was most pleased with a beautiful prospect that none of them have mentioned.
  2. To acknowledge faith in; to profess belief in.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Matthew 10:32 ↗:
      Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess, also, before my Father which is in heaven.
    • Bible, Acts xxiii. 8
      For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both.
  3. (religion) To unburden (oneself) of sins to God or a priest, in order to receive absolution.
    • Our beautiful votary took an opportunity of confessing herself to this celebrated father.
  4. (religion) To hear or receive such a confession of sins from.
    • 1523–1525, John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners (translator), Froissart's Chronicles
      He […] heard mass, and the prince, his son, with him, and the most part of his company were confessed.
  5. To disclose or reveal.
    • 1725, Homer; [Alexander Pope], transl., “Book VII”, in The Odyssey of Homer. […], volume II, London: Printed for Bernard Lintot, OCLC 8736646 ↗:
      Tall thriving trees confess;d the fruitful mould.
Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: confessar
  • Russian: созна́ться



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