confession

noun

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

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 Authorities call it a confession, but his attorney says his client isn't guilty. Sasha Pezenik, ABC News, 30 Mar. 2024 Thank you for rocking with me through every lyric, every beat, and every confession. Lindsay Kimble, Peoplemag, 24 Mar. 2024 Odeh’s supporters say Israel tortured her into a false confession. Simone Weichselbaum, NBC News, 20 Mar. 2024 Leaning toward the camera during a recent video chat, DiFranco sums up her vibe with a hushed confession. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 19 Mar. 2024 Days after Lord's death, Vigil appeared to make a confession on Snapchat. Robert Anglen, The Arizona Republic, 16 Mar. 2024 There’s an urgency, a longing, a desperation in their confession that catches me off guard. Jonah Gercke, SPIN, 15 Mar. 2024 Following his public confession, Armstrong was hit with a number of lawsuits. George Ramsay, CNN, 16 Mar. 2024 Instead of letting Owen’s confession haunt him for the rest of his career, Hayes moves back to Ireland with his family to start over. TIME, 14 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'confession.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near confession

Cite this Entry

“Confession.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confession. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

confession

noun
con·​fes·​sion kən-ˈfesh-ən How to pronounce confession (audio)
1
a
: an act of confessing
especially : a telling of one's sins to a priest
b
: a meeting for the confessing of sins
go to confession
2
: a statement admitting guilt
the thief signed a confession
3
: a formal statement of religious beliefs : creed

Legal Definition

confession

noun
con·​fes·​sion
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

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