\ ˈshrift How to pronounce shrift (audio) , especially Southern ˈsrift \

Definition of shrift

1 archaic
a : a remission of sins pronounced by a priest in the sacrament of reconciliation
b : the act of shriving : confession
2 obsolete : confessional

Examples of shrift in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Similarly, Salvador’s cherished childhood memories also get short cinematic shrift. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Pedro Almodóvar’s Stifled “Pain and Glory”," 10 Oct. 2019 More Stories HBCUs were not the only education issue that received short-shrift during last night’s debate. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "The Missing Education Questions in the Democratic Debate," 13 Sep. 2019 Shorter shrift is given to the role of vernacular architecture and how such traditional elements as the Ottoman divanhana (house-wrapping porch) enriched modernist structures. Julie V. Iovine, WSJ, "‘Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980’ Review: An Imaginative Moment," 24 Aug. 2018 Related While China worried that its interests might get short-shrift in the Trump-Kim summit, the meeting unexpectedly proved favorable to Beijing. Jeremy Page, WSJ, "The Unexpected Winner From the Trump-Kim Summit: China," 13 June 2018 Dramatic revelations are continually given short-shrift; when Millsap's electoral chances are severely threatened by a false allegation regarding her late husband, the writer rushes over the information as if the details were unimportant. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Kings': Theater Review," 21 Feb. 2018 Health care had a prominent role to play in the deal—but some programs were given greater shrift than others. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Brainstorm Health: Genome on a Blockchain, Budget Deal, U.S. Life Expectancy Drop," 9 Feb. 2018 The accident actually gets rather short emotional shrift for such a traumatic event. Matthew J. Palm,, "Charismatic cast powers Estefans' story in lightweight 'On Your Feet'," 18 Oct. 2017 Antonio Conte has given short shrift to queries about Chelsea's decision to sell Nemanja Matic to potential Premier League title rivals Manchester United., "Antonio Conte Offers Curt Opinion on Chelsea's Decision to Sell Nemanja Matic to Rivals Man Utd," 4 Aug. 2017

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shrift

Middle English, from Old English scrift, from scrīfan to shrive — more at shrive

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shrift

Time Traveler for shrift

Time Traveler

The first known use of shrift was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for shrift

Cite this Entry

“Shrift.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on shrift

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shrift

Britannica English: Translation of shrift for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shrift

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


not to be intimidated or subdued

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!