shrive

play
verb \ˈshrīv, especially Southern ˈsrīv\

Definition of shrive

shrived

or

shrove

play \ˈshrōv, ˈsrōv\;

shriven

play \ˈshri-vən, ˈsri-\ or

shrived

;

shriving

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to administer the sacrament of reconciliation to

  3. 2 :  to free from guilt

  4. intransitive verb
  5. archaic :  to confess one's sins especially to a priest

shrive was our Word of the Day on 11/22/2014. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

We wouldn't want to give the history of shrive short shrift, so here's the whole story. It began when the Latin verb scribere (meaning "to write") found its way onto the tongues of certain Germanic peoples who brought it to Britain in the early Middle Ages. Because it was often used for laying down directions or rules in writing, 8th-century Old English speakers used their form of the term, scrīfan, to mean "to prescribe or impose." The Church adopted scrīfan to refer to the act of assigning penance to sinners and, later, to hearing confession and administering absolution. Today shrift, the noun form of shrive, makes up half of short shrift, a phrase meaning "little or no consideration." Originally, short shrift was the barely adequate time for confession before an execution.

Origin and Etymology of shrive

Middle English, from Old English scrīfan to shrive, prescribe (akin to Old High German scrīban to write), from Latin scribere to write — more at scribe

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WORD OF THE DAY

to reach the highest or a decisive point

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