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

  • n. Archaic The act of shriving.
  • n. Archaic Confession to a priest.
  • n. Archaic Absolution given by a priest. See Note at short shrift.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of going to or hearing a religious confession.
  • n. Confession to a priest.
  • n. Forgiveness given by a priest after confession; remission.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of shriving.
  • n. Confession made to a priest, and the absolution consequent upon it.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To confess and absolve; shrive.
  • n. The penitential act of confession to a priest, especially in the case of a dying penitent.
  • n. Absolution received after confession; pardon.
  • n. The priestly act of confessing and absolving a penitent.
  • n. Figuratively, in strict confidence; as if in confession.

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

  • n. the act of being shriven


Middle English, from Old English scrift, from Latin scrīptum, something written, from neuter past participle of scrībere, to write; see shrive.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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