noun con·fes·sion \kən-ˈfe-shən\

Definition of confession

  1. 1a :  an act of confessing; especially :  a disclosure of one's sins in the sacrament of reconciliationb :  a session for the confessing of sins go to confession

  2. 2 :  a statement of what is confessed: such asa :  a written or oral acknowledgment of guilt by a party accused of an offenseb :  a formal statement of religious beliefs :  creed the Augsburg Confession of the Lutheran Church

  3. 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.

14th Century

First Known Use of confession

14th century

CONFESSION Defined for English Language Learners


noun con·fes·sion \kən-ˈfe-shən\

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. 1 :  an act of telling of sins or wrong, illegal, or embarrassing acts

  2. 2 :  a written or spoken admission of guilt of a crime

Law Dictionary


noun con·fes·sion

Legal Definition of confession

  1. 1 :  an act of confessing

  2. 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

Additional Notes on confession

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.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up confession? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


capable of being understood in two ways

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.