American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The act or process of confessing.
- n. Something confessed, especially disclosure of one's sins to a priest for absolution.
- n. A written or oral statement acknowledging guilt, made by one who has been accused or charged with an offense.
- n. An avowal of belief in the doctrines of a particular faith; a creed.
- n. A church or group of worshipers adhering to a specific creed.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act of confessing. The acknowledgment of a fault or wrong, or of any act or obligation adverse to one's reputation or interest.
- n. The act of making an avowal; profession.
- n. Eccles., a disclosing of sins or faults to a priest; the disburdening of the conscience privately to a confessor: often called auricular confession. In both the Eastern and the Western Church confession is one of the four parte of the sacrament of penance, viz., contrition, confession, absolution, and satisfaction. See sacramental confession.
- n. In common law, an admission or acknowledgment of guilt. A judicial confession is a confession made in court, or before an examining magistrate. An extra-judicial confession is one made not in the course of legal prosecution for the offense, but out of court, whether made to an official or a non-official person.
- n. In Roman law, the admission by the defendant of the plaintilf's claim. It was either in jure (that is, before the pretor, and before the case had been referred to a judge to be tried) or in judicio (that is, made after the case had been so referred).
- n. In liturgics: In many Oriental and early liturgies, a form of prayer acknowledging sinfulness and unworthiness, said by the priest before the celebration of the eucharist: also called the apologia.
- n. In the Roman and other Latin masses, the Confiteor, or form of general acknowledgment of sins, said first by the celebrant and then by the assistants, and followed by the Misereatur and Indulgentiam before the priest ascends to the altar and proceeds to the Introit.
- n. In the Anglican communion office, the form of general acknowledgment of sins made by the celebrant and the communicants.
- n. In the liturgy of St. Chrysos-tom, and in the Alexandrine and other Oriental liturgies, the profession of faith, made before communicating, that the consecrated elements are really and truly the body and blood of Christ.
- n. A formulary which comprises articles of religious faith; a creed to be assented to or signed as a preliminary to admission to the membership of a church, or to certain offices of authority in the church: usually called a confession of faith. The great confessions of faith of the Protestant Christian church are: the Augsburg Confession (1530), a part of the symbol of the Lutheran Church: the first and second Helvetic confessions (1536 and 1566), symbols of the Reformed churches of Switzerland, the latter being approved by nearly all the Reformed churches of the Continent and of England and Scotland; the Gallican Confession (1559), also called the Confession of Rochelle, prepared by Calvin and his pupil De Chandieu, the symbol of the French Protestant church; the Belgie Confession (1561, revised 1619), the symbol of the Reformed churches in Belgium and the Netherlands, and of the Reformed (Dutch) Church in the United States; the first Scotch Confession (1560) and the second Scotch Confession or the National Covenant (1581), the symbols of the Scotch church before the adoption of the Westminster Confession; the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England (1563 and 1571); the American revision of the same (1801), the symbol of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States; the Irish Article (l6l5) and the Lambeth Articles (1595), thesymbols of the Church of Ireland; the Canons of the Synod of Dort (1619), at present recognized by the Dutch Church, and by the Reformed (Dutch) Church in the United States; the Westminster Confession (1647), the symbol of the Presbyterian Church in England, and of Scotland (taking the place in Scotland of the so-called Scotch confessions'), and, with some alterations, of the Presbyterian Church of America; the Savoy Confession (1658), adopted by the Independents at the Savoy palace, London; the declaration of the Congregational Union of England and Wales (1833), of the Boston (United States) National Council (1865), and of the Oberlin National Council (1871), symbols of Congregational churches; the Articles of Religion (1784) of the Methodist Church; the Confession of 1688, and the New Hampshire Confession (1833), symtols of the Baptist Church. See catechism, creed.
- n. [ML. confessio(n-).] The tomb of a martyr or confessor. If an altar was erected over the grave, the name was extended also to the altar and to the subterranean chamber in which it stood. In later times a basilica was sometimes erected over the chamber; the high altar was placed over the altar on the tomb below, and so this high altar also, and subsequently the entire building, was called a confession. Also called
confessional, and in the Greek Church catabasis or catabasion.
- n. [capitalized] In the Book of Common Prayer: The form of acknowledgment of sins to be said by the minister and the whole congregation at the beginning of Morning Prayer and Evening Praver.
- n. The form of confession in the Communion office.
- n. The open admittance of having done something (especially of something bad).
- n. Roman Catholicism the disclosure of one's sins to a priest for absolution. Now termed the sacrament of reconciliation.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Acknowledgment; avowal, especially in a matter pertaining to one's self; the admission of a debt, obligation, or crime.
- n. Acknowledgment of belief; profession of one's faith.
- n. (Eccl.) The act of disclosing sins or faults to a priest in order to obtain sacramental absolution.
- n. A formulary in which the articles of faith are comprised; a creed to be assented to or signed, as a preliminary to admission to membership of a church; a confession of faith.
- n. (Law) An admission by a party to whom an act is imputed, in relation to such act. A judicial confession settles the issue to which it applies; an extrajudical confession may be explained or rebutted.
- n. a written document acknowledging an offense and signed by the guilty party
- n. an admission of misdeeds or faults
- n. (Roman Catholic Church) the act of a penitent disclosing his sinfulness before a priest in the sacrament of penance in the hope of absolution
- n. a public declaration of your faith
- n. the document that spells out the belief system of a given church (especially the Reformation churches of the 16th century)
- From Latin cōnfessiō ("confession, acknowledgment, creed or avowal of one's faith"). (Wiktionary)
“_from confession (exomologesis), consider in_ thine heart that hell-fire which _confession shall quench for thee_; and first imagine to thyself the greatness of the punishment, that thou mayest not doubt concerning the adoption of the remedy.”
“Later still the term confession was adopted for the hollow reliquary in an altar (Ordo Rom. de dedic. altaris).”
“I take offense with the word confession cause Amanda never says that she participated in the murder of her friend ... she never confesses to being part of that crime, ever," said Mellas.”
“But we have what I call a confession plus in this case.”
“For the Russian Orthodox, the confession is an elaborate, intimate institution; the obligation is very much on the side of the confessing party, and there is great reverence for the confessor.”
“His publisher says she's printing what she calls his confession because she was a victim of domestic abuse.”
“The Police and Prisons 'Civil Rights Union on Saturday welcomed what it called the confession of former Izingolweni, KwaZulu-Natal, police station commander Capt Shaun van Vollenhoven, SABC radio news reported.”
“The witchfinder practised upon her the most vulgar and ridiculous tricks or charms; and out of a perverted examination they drew what they called a confession, though of a forced and mutilated character.”
“As Salome proceeded with what she called her confession, her fever and excitement increased rapidly.”
“TEHRAN Reuters - Iranian state television on Sunday aired what it described as the confession of an Iranian man detained for spying for the CIA.”
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