con·​fes·​sion | \kən-ˈfe-shən \

Definition of confession 

1a : an act of confessing especially : a disclosure of one's sins in the sacrament of reconciliation

b : a session for the confessing of sins go to confession

2 : a statement of what is confessed: such as

a : a written or oral acknowledgment of guilt by a party accused of an offense

b : a formal statement of religious beliefs : creed the Augsburg Confession of the Lutheran Church

3 : an organized religious body having a common creed

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Examples of confession in a Sentence

She went to the police station and made a full confession. I have a confession to make: I have never done this before. The priest will hear confessions after mass today. I haven't gone to confession in three years.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Hopefully Audrey's confession helps everyone realize that picking up your phone, even for just a second, is extremely risky and dangerous. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "Audrey Roloff Just Confessed to Getting Pulled Over by the Cops," 23 Aug. 2018 After that confession, Becca definitely wants a hometown visit. Melissa Locker, Time, "The Bachelorette Recap: Becca Hopes That Love Will Find Her in the Bahamas," 10 July 2018 The abuse, the man said, occurred in sacramental confession and on outings after Hart had become bishop. Judy L. Thomas, kansascity, "Could former KC priest, 86, still face charges? Yes, but 'there is an issue of time'," 3 July 2018 District Attorney Billy West says the State -- armed with Kyle Alden's detailed confession and his agreement to testify -- sought the death penalty for John Wimunc. CBS News, "Did a missing Army nurse fall prey to a serial killer targeting military women?," 26 June 2018 For example, he could no longer be allowed to participate in confessions. Jerod Macdonald-evoy, azcentral, "Father Adrian Cristobal, accused of sex abuse in Guam, is missing after leaving Phoenix," 15 June 2018 The arrest reports are sketchy by any measure, listing no witnesses, fingerprint evidence, confessions or even property stolen. Charles Rabin, Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "The chief wanted perfect stats, so cops were told to pin crimes on blacks, probe found," 12 July 2018 They were set down in front of Webster, just out of his reach, and the officers watched him, waiting for the confession. Paul Collins,, "What lies in the lab: The gruesome murder at Harvard that transfixed New England," 11 July 2018 Another woman joins them for 18 holes of golf, secrets and confessions. Mitchel Benson, sacbee, "‘Ladies Foursome’ maintains remarkable chemistry in return to B Street Theatre," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confession.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of confession

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for confession

The first known use of confession was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for confession



English Language Learners Definition of confession

: a written or spoken statement in which you say that you have done something wrong or committed a crime

: the act of telling people something that makes you embarrassed, ashamed, etc.

: the act of telling your sins to God or to a priest


con·​fes·​sion | \kən-ˈfe-shən \

Kids Definition of confession

1 : an act of telling of sins or wrong, illegal, or embarrassing acts

2 : a written or spoken admission of guilt of a crime



Legal Definition of confession 

1 : an act of confessing

2 : an acknowledgment of a fact or allegation as true or proven especially : a written or oral statement by an accused party acknowledging the party's guilt (as by admitting commission of a crime) — compare admission, declaration against interest at declaration, self-incrimination

Note: Courts differ on how a confession establishes the accused's guilt; for example, in some jurisdictions the confession has to establish all the necessary elements of the crime. In order to be admissible as evidence, a confession must be voluntary. A guilty plea is considered a judicial confession.

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