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

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 This is what the church does in its liturgical service and also in canonising those who are believed to be martyrs and confessors. The Economist, "Transcript: Interview with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev," 1 Feb. 2018 One of the more entrepreneurial is Bishop Tikhon Shevkunov, often described as Mr Putin’s confessor. The Economist, "Orthodox businessVladimir Putin embraces the Russian church," 3 Feb. 2018 Both trace their authority to the primacy of the word; both offer uplift to the common man, acting as his paternalistic confessor and instructor. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "Review: 'Spotlight' Explores the Sins of the Fathers," 8 Oct. 2015 But Jules’s perspective is quickly sidelined for that of the third narrator-confessor: Helmut (Christian Clauss), an ambitious SS officer who delayed his thesis on Chekhov for wartime duties and who buys into Hitler’s propaganda in full. Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, "Review: ‘Paradise,’ a Holocaust Drama in Black and White," 5 Oct. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of confessor

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about confessor

Statistics for confessor

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for confessor

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for confessor



English Language Learners Definition of confessor

: a priest who listens to a person's confession

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on confessor

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


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!