con·​fes·​sor | \ kən-ˈfe-sər How to pronounce confessor (audio) , senses 1 & 3 also ˈkän-ˌfe-sər, sense 3 also ˈkän-fə-ˌsȯr \

Definition of confessor

1 : one who gives heroic evidence of faith but does not suffer martyrdom
2 : one that confesses
3a : a priest who hears confessions
b : a priest who is one's regular spiritual guide

Examples of confessor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Aunt Lydia is a mercurial assassin: a pious leader, a ruthless administrator, a deliciously acerbic confessor. Ron Charles Critic, Washington Post, "Praise be: Margaret Atwood has published a sequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’," 3 Sep. 2019 Some of my younger coworkers, all men, want to turn me into mother confessor. Anchorage Daily News, "Shunned by employers because you’re ‘overqualified’? Sharpen your cover letter.," 16 Sep. 2019 Critics raised constitutional concerns: given First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom, could the state force confessors to divulge information shared in confidence? San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘I confess': should the ‘seal of the confessional’ protect pedophiles?," 4 Aug. 2019 Even if absolution is denied, though, the exchange between penitent and confessor is to remain confidential. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘I confess': should the ‘seal of the confessional’ protect pedophiles?," 4 Aug. 2019 Neither Cardinal DiNardo nor anyone at the ADGH (archdiocese) asked me any questions regarding the physical part of our relationship or Father Rossi’s role as my confessor, sometimes absolving me of the sin of adultery. Washington Post, "Allegations against top priest under review after AP report," 8 June 2019 If, for example, the penitent confesses from behind a screen, how can the confessor know for certain who is confessing? Rob Taylor And, WSJ, "New Laws Require Priests to Break the ‘Seal of Confession’," 3 Aug. 2018 Going public has turned Anderson into something of a confessor. Nora Krug,, "Laurie Halse Anderson, author of 'Speak,' writing a memoir about surviving rape," 12 June 2018 These are just a few of the secrets written on postcards by anonymous confessors and currently on view at the San Diego Museum of Man. Karla Peterson,, "PostSecret exhibit turns Museum of Man into a confession booth," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confessor.' 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 confessor

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of confessor was in the 12th century

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Statistics for confessor

Last Updated

1 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Confessor.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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How to pronounce confessor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of confessor

: a priest who listens to a person's confession

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More from Merriam-Webster on confessor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with confessor

Spanish Central: Translation of confessor

Nglish: Translation of confessor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confessor for Arabic Speakers

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easily led, controlled, or managed

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