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

The magistrate presiding over the case has ruled that the man cannot yet be identified, but his name has been widely circulated on social media, along with some of the intolerable details from his confession. Rosa Lyster, The New Yorker, "The Death of Uyinene Mrwetyana and the Rise of South Africa’s #AmINext Movement," 12 Sep. 2019 Over the years, Sirhan has claimed to have no recollection of the shooting or his initial confession. Don Thompson,, "Robert F. Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan stable after prison stabbing," 31 Aug. 2019 Since taking office, Mr. Duque has proposed an overhaul of a special justice system the rebels had accepted, on the condition that their confessions would not result in jail sentences. New York Times, "Colombia’s Former FARC Guerrilla Leader Calls for Return to War," 29 Aug. 2019 This is the appeal of the archive, the opportunity to see a writer up close, informal, not so much choosing his confessions as revealing himself under the skin. David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times, "Inside the archives — and mind — of sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick," 16 Aug. 2019 My confession implied that my identity was simple and fixed. Cyrus Grace Dunham, The New Yorker, "A Year Without a Name," 12 Aug. 2019 After her confession, Sandra Ames was kept in house arrest in Seoul. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Is justice out of reach for an American teacher murdered in South Korea?," 10 Aug. 2019 That directly contracted his purported confession to attending a training camp for three to six months. Fox News, "Judge overturns California man's 2006 terror conviction," 31 July 2019 Ja'Naiya Scott was killed by one of at least 35 bullets fired into her home on June 23 A South Carolina teen charged with murder in the death of an 11-year-old girl claims a confession posted to his Facebook page was the work of a hacker. Chris Harris,, "S.C. Teen Allegedly Confessed on Facebook to Girl's Murder, But He Claims He Got Hacked," 4 July 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

17 Sep 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

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


concealment of treason or felony

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