Synonyms & Antonyms of confess

1 to make an acknowledgment of something unpleasant as true or valid
  • the thief confessed to dozens of robberies

Synonyms for confess

Words Related to confess

Near Antonyms for confess

2 to accept the truth or existence of (something) usually reluctantly
  • political prisoners, under threat of torture, forced to confess their guilt

Synonyms for confess

Words Related to confess

Phrases Synonymous with confess

Near Antonyms for confess

Antonyms for confess

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About confess

How does the verb confess contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of confess are acknowledge, admit, avow, and own. While all these words mean "to disclose against one's will or inclination," confess may apply to an admission of a weakness, failure, omission, or guilt.

confessed a weakness for sweets

When could acknowledge be used to replace confess?

In some situations, the words acknowledge and confess are roughly equivalent. However, acknowledge implies the disclosing of something that has been or might be concealed.

acknowledged an earlier peccadillo

Where would admit be a reasonable alternative to confess?

Although the words admit and confess have much in common, admit implies reluctance to disclose, grant, or concede and refers usually to facts rather than their implications.

admitted the project was over budget

When can avow be used instead of confess?

While the synonyms avow and confess are close in meaning, avow implies boldly declaring, often in the face of hostility, what one might be expected to be silent about.

avowed that he was a revolutionary

In what contexts can own take the place of confess?

While in some cases nearly identical to confess, own implies acknowledging something in close relation to oneself.

must own I know little about computers

Learn More About confess

Time Traveler for confess

Time Traveler

The first known use of confess was in the 14th century

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Thesaurus Entries Near confess

confers (on)



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Cite this Entry

“Confess.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on confess

Nglish: Translation of confess for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confess for Arabic Speakers


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