Pronunciation Verb

fess (fesses, present participle fessing; past and past participle fessed)

  1. To confess; to admit.

fess (plural fesses)

  1. (heraldiccharge) A horizontal band across the middle of the shield.
    • 1892, Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor’, Norton 2005 p.294:
      Lord Robert Walsingham de Vere St. Simon, second son of the Duke of Balmoral—Hum! Arms: Azure, three caltrops in chief over a fess sable.
    • 2009, Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall, Fourth Estate 2010, p. 420:
      The space where the arms of Wolsey used to be is being repainted with his own newly granted arms: azure, on a fess between three lions rampant or, a rose gules, barbed vert, between two Cornish choughs proper.

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