Definition of shrive in English:


Line breaks: shrive
Pronunciation: /ʃrʌɪv

verb (past shrove /ʃrəʊv/; past participle shriven /ˈʃrɪv(ə)n/)

[with object] archaic
1(Of a priest) hear the confession of, assign penance to, and absolve: none of her chaplains knew English or French enough to shrive the king
More example sentences
  • In the week immediately before lent everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him and make pancakes.
  • Pascal accompanies the priest on his regular visit to shrive the residents of the local mental hospital, and finds himself hearing one of the confessions, almost but not quite by accident.
  • Without the direct intervention of God's angels, William cannot recognize it and be shriven of it.
1.1 (shrive oneself) Present oneself to a priest for confession, penance, and absolution.
More example sentences
  • Neither is he one of those Fianna Fáil people who argues that the party needs to shrive itself and get back to basics.
  • Moreover, contrition must be continual, and a man must keep and hold a steadfast purpose to shrive himself and to amend his way of life.
  • And if he live until his last day, scarcely then may he shrive himself or then remember his sins, or repent of them, because of the grievous malady about to cause his death.


Old English scrīfan 'impose as a penance', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schrijven and German schreiben 'write', from Latin scribere 'write'.

Definition of shrive in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day rebuff
Pronunciation: rɪˈbʌf
reject (someone or something) in an abrupt manner…