Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or process of confessing, as in telling one's life story as a series of failings or tribulations.
  • noun Something confessed, especially a disclosure of one's sins to a priest for absolution.
  • noun In some Christian churches, the sacrament of Penance.
  • noun A statement made acknowledging guilt of an offense.
  • noun An avowal of belief in the doctrines of a particular faith; a creed.
  • noun A church or group of worshipers adhering to a specific creed.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of confessing.
  • noun The act of making an avowal; profession.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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).
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In the Anglican communion office, the form of general acknowledgment of sins made by the celebrant and the communicants.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun [ML. confessio(n-).] The tomb of a martyr or confessor.
  • noun [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.
  • noun The form of confession in the Communion office.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Acknowledgment; avowal, especially in a matter pertaining to one's self; the admission of a debt, obligation, or crime.
  • noun Acknowledgment of belief; profession of one's faith.
  • noun (Eccl.) The act of disclosing sins or faults to a priest in order to obtain sacramental absolution.
  • noun 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.
  • noun (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.
  • noun (Law) a mode of pleading in which the party confesses the facts as stated by his adversary, but alleges some new matter by way of avoiding the legal effect claimed for them.
  • noun a formulary containing the articles of faith; a creed.
  • noun the confession of sins made by a number of persons in common, as in public prayer.
  • noun See Westminster Assembly, under Assembly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The open admittance of having done something (especially of something bad).
  • noun Roman Catholicism the disclosure of one's sins to a priest for absolution. Now termed the sacrament of reconciliation.

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

  • noun a written document acknowledging an offense and signed by the guilty party
  • noun an admission of misdeeds or faults
  • noun (Roman Catholic Church) the act of a penitent disclosing his sinfulness before a priest in the sacrament of penance in the hope of absolution
  • noun a public declaration of your faith
  • noun the document that spells out the belief system of a given church (especially the Reformation churches of the 16th century)

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin cōnfessiō ("confession, acknowledgment, creed or avowal of one's faith").

Examples

  • _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.

    Confession and Absolution

  • Later still the term confession was adopted for the hollow reliquary in an altar (Ordo Rom. de dedic. altaris).

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 4: Clandestinity-Diocesan Chancery

  • "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.

    Breaking News: CBS News

  • But we have what I call a confession plus in this case.

    CNN Transcript Jan 2, 2009

  • But we have what I call a confession plus in this case.

    CNN Transcript Nov 14, 2008

  • But we have what I call a confession plus in this case.

    CNN Transcript Nov 28, 2008

  • But we have what I call a confession plus in this case.

    CNN Transcript Dec 22, 2008

  • 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.

    The Accidental Autocrat

  • 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.

    The Accidental Autocrat

  • His publisher says she's printing what she calls his confession because she was a victim of domestic abuse.

    CNN Transcript Nov 17, 2006

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