noun con·fes·sion \ kən-ˈfe-shən \
|Updated on: 6 Aug 2018

Definition of confession

1 a : 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

  1. She went to the police station and made a full confession.

  2. I have a confession to make: I have never done this before.

  3. The priest will hear confessions after mass today.

  4. I haven't gone to confession in three years.

Recent Examples of confession from the Web

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

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CONFESSION Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of confession for English Language Learners

  • : 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

CONFESSION Defined for Kids


noun con·fes·sion \ kən-ˈfe-shən \

Definition of confession for Students

1 : an act of telling of sins or wrong, illegal, or embarrassing acts
2 : a written or spoken admission of guilt of a crime

Law Dictionary


noun con·fes·sion

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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