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

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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

This is turning into a confessions-of-a-mistaken-writer newsletter. Bob Brookover,, "For Phillies, PNC Park has been a torture chamber | Extra Innings," 6 July 2018 But a rape confession is what the teens wanted, Missouri cops say The kidnapping victim was rescued the day after the incident began, when someone tipped off police to a woman being held captive at the apartment, the newspaper reports. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Man led group to kidnap and strip his ex-girlfriend — then burn cigarettes on her, Illinois cops say," 7 June 2018 The Made in China 2025 plan can be read as a confession of backwardness. The Economist, "A threatened trade war between China and America may be on hold," 24 May 2018 Central to the novel are the different and intermingled meanings of confession, in both the religious and judicial sense. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Shrovetide Confessions," 13 Dec. 2018 But video of the confession later suggested that investigators manipulated Dassey, who was 16 at the time and may have a cognitive disability, into confessing with leading questions. German Lopez, Vox, "The first season was a huge hit, and quite a bit has happened since it premiered.," 18 Oct. 2018 Even without Valezuela present, their routine would echo that of Los Altos High’s Camp Diversity: long days and nights of intense sessions leading to tears and confessions, interposed with icebreaker games and rousing camp cheers. San Francisco Chronicle, "A Retreat’s Risky Lessons," 14 June 2018 Ten months after the crimes, police still do not know the motive, not even after DiNardo's hour-long confession, excerpts of which were published by NBC 10 Wednesday. The Washington Post,, "He lured young men looking for marijuana. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.," 17 May 2018 Here are her best tips to make this confession as painless as possible. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "How to Tell Your Crush You Like Them Without Making Things Weird," 14 Feb. 2019

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

2 Apr 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 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.

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Comments on confession

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