Definition of confession in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈfeSHən/


1A formal statement admitting that one is guilty of a crime: he signed a confession to the murders
More example sentences
  • In his oral submissions, though not we think in his grounds of appeal, he took a point on the judge's decision to admit the confession, without holding a voire dire to establish, as he put it, its reliability.
  • The Crown in that case submitted that the confessions were rightly admitted and that the convictions were safe and satisfactory.
  • And, as the Magistrate said, if the confession is admitted, then, in the absence of any further evidence, a ‘case to answer’ has been made out.
1.1An admission or acknowledgment that one has done something that one is ashamed or embarrassed about: by his own confession, he had strayed perilously close to alcoholism
More example sentences
  • The only eyebrow-raising moments come from confessions of infantile sexuality that would have had Freud scrambling for pad and pen.
  • As a teenager he was really into wrestling (an embarrassing confession!) and a friend at work has lent him a wrestling game for the week.
  • Her cheeks reddened at the embarrassing confession and she paused for a few moments.
1.2A formal admission of one’s sins with repentance and desire of absolution, especially privately to a priest as a religious duty: she still had not been to confession See also sacrament of reconciliation.
More example sentences
  • But the priest patiently heard my confession, gave me absolution, and then zipped out to continue his busy day.
  • The priest would hear confessions and give absolution for sins.
  • This isn't to knock all priests who hear confessions - many are compassionate and have a gift of knowing just what to say.
1.3 (confessions) often humorous Intimate revelations about a person’s private life or occupation, especially as presented in a sensationalized form in a book, newspaper, or movie: confessions of a driving instructor
More example sentences
  • He has no time for stuttering confessions or intimate revelations.
  • His book of confessions pointedly describes how that course brought him personal abuse from the two sides: radical antiwar protesters, and superhawks.
  • What follows is a series of revelations and confessions about emotional and sexual escapades - past and present, gay and straight, silly and profound.
2 (also confession of faith) A statement setting out essential religious doctrine.
Example sentences
  • For some, the focus of evangelism efforts is a confession of faith - agreement with or conversion to a specific theological statement.
  • This means that the bases for church reunion have to be the confessions of faith and the communal structures of the once undivided church of East and West.
  • We put on our armour by a simple confession of faith: ‘Lord Jesus, You are my armour.’
2.1 (also Confession) The religious body or church sharing a confession of faith.
Example sentences
  • Today, the Reformed Evangelische Kirche, while professing to adhere to The Helvetic Confession, has departed completely from the historic Reformed faith and biblical ethics.
  • He held this view while confessing allegiance to the Belgic Confession, but like the tendency of current revisions, it led to losable election, losable regeneration, and losable justification.
  • We reject and condemn these errors and all others that contradict and contravene the above doctrine as being contrary to the pure Word of God, the writings of the holy prophets and apostles, and our Christian Creed and Confession.
2.2A statement of one’s principles: his words are a political confession of faith
More example sentences
  • When I was here last autumn I made… a short confession of my political faith, or perhaps I should better say, want of faith.
  • It does come up from time to time, but from the lectures I've attended, when it does come up, it's mentioned in passing as almost a confession of faith.
  • To his political confession of faith no objections appear to have been made, but the odor of his theological heterodoxy was too strong.



Pronunciation: /kənˈfeSHəˌnerē/
Example sentences
  • The ironic in this form is wilful innocence, just as the innocent sentimentality of the confessionary talk show is brute, cynical narcissism.
  • Biblically, the optimum means for attaining atonement consists of both animal sacrifices and sincere confessionary repentant prayer used in conjunction with each other.
  • Also, his idea of the confessionary room that talks like a priest, can be useful for the loners and old people who always want to talk to someone.


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin confessio(n-), from confiteri 'acknowledge' (see confess).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·fes·sion

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