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

Her confession that Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s slip-inspired dress by Narciso Rodriguez is her favorite celebrity wedding gown. Diana Pearl,, "Everything We Know About Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress," 7 May 2018 The police turned over his confession to this murder, along with other incriminating information, to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which used it to build a case for his deportation, laid out in an unsealed memo. Hannah Dreier, Daily Intelligencer, "Teenage MS-13 Gang Informant Heads Into Final Asylum Hearing," 5 Apr. 2018 The attorney for a man accused of killing an Indianapolis Colts player and his Uber driver in a drunken-driving crash earlier this month wants his on-scene confession thrown out. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Orrego-Savala's attorney files motion to toss out on-scene confession," 20 Feb. 2018 Two days before his confession, the center reported a caller who had made derogatory comments about Muslims and the mosque. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Novi man arrested; allegedly threatened CNN employees for 'fake news'," 23 Jan. 2018 Peskov, Putin’s spokesperson, even lied on Cohen’s behalf, in order to back up Cohen’s story (until Cohen’s public confession). Alex Finley - Center For Public Integrity, Vox, "Trump got the National Enquirer to bury his secrets. Did he do the same with Putin?," 21 Dec. 2018 The man who shot him was his best friend and insurance agent Brian Winchester, who confessed last year to the killing and repeated that confession in court. Gary Fineout, The Seattle Times, "Witness details how he killed lover’s husband for insurance," 11 Dec. 2018 Since Little’s confession, he has been linked to 30 unsolved crimes. Kyle Swenson, The Seattle Times, "Elderly prisoner claims he’s America’s deadliest serial killer with 90 victims. Police believe him.," 20 Nov. 2018 Rodriguez said that one suspect's confession implicates the Chilean Embassy, and several others have confessed to being trained across the border in Colombia. Fox News, "Venezuela says diplomats may be tied to assassination try," 24 Sep. 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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Statistics for confession

Last Updated

8 Jan 2019

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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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