Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who confesses.
  • n. One who confesses faith in Christianity in the face of persecution but does not suffer martyrdom.
  • n. A priest who hears confession and gives absolution.
  • n. A priest who is one's spiritual mentor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who confesses faith in Christianity in the face of persecution, but who is not martyred.
  • n. One who confesses to having done something wrong.
  • n. A priest who hears confession and then gives absolution

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who confesses; one who acknowledges a fault, or the truth of a charge, at the risk of suffering; specifically, one who confesses himself a follower of Christ and endures persecution for his faith.
  • n. A priest who hears the confessions of others and is authorized to grant them absolution.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who confesses; one who acknowledges a crime, a fault, or an obligation.
  • n. One who makes a profession of his faith in the Christian religion; specifically, one who avows his religion in the face of danger, and adheres to it in spite of persecution and torture.
  • n. One who hears confessions; specifically, a priest who hears confession and grants absolution; distinctively, as a title of office, a priest employed as a private spiritual director, as of a king or other great personage.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone who confesses (discloses information damaging to themselves)
  • n. a priest who hears confession and gives absolution

Etymologies

From Anglo-Norman confessour, and its source, Latin confessor, from cōnfitērī, present active infinitive of cōnfiteor ("confess, admit, acknowledge"). (Wiktionary)

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