con·​fes·​sion | \ kən-ˈfe-shən How to pronounce confession (audio) \

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web According to a confession later made by one of the Klansmen, his partners pulled Schwerner from the car and shot him first, then Goodman. Ko Bragg, The Atlantic, 7 Apr. 2022 This wasn’t the first time Krouse’s countenance had elicited an immediate connection, a familiarity that led to a confession. Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2022 His attorney told Judge Alison Lee Murdaugh agreed to the confession of judgment and issued an apology to the Satterfield and Harriott families. Randi Kaye, CNN, 14 Dec. 2021 Kuper does extract a clutch of spicy nuggets but nothing close to a late-in-life confession, let alone a fresh outpouring of regret. Xan Smiley, The New York Review of Books, 23 Sep. 2021 The below paparazzi photo of Kardashian and West walking out to her car happened after the emotional hotel confession. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 29 Apr. 2022 Chandler was ultimately paid $8.5 million by the city in a 2012 settlement after his lawyers showed Handy had fed him facts to use in the confession and taped over a surveillance video that might have led to the real killer. Krista Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 21 Apr. 2022 Some evidence to support Cline’s attendance at the confession, however, comes from Smith himself. Jason Meisner,, 16 Mar. 2022 Send in the best confession—anonymously, of course—and the cash prize was yours. Deborah Cohen, The Atlantic, 8 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of confession

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

History and Etymology for confession

Middle English confessioun, borrowed from Anglo-French confession, borrowed from Latin confessiōn-, confessiō, from confiteor, confitērī "to admit (a fact, the truth of a statement or charge)" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at confess

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

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Dictionary Entries Near confession

confessio fidei



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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Confession.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for confession


con·​fes·​sion | \ kən-ˈfe-shən How to pronounce confession (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on confession

Nglish: Translation of confession for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confession for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about confession


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