Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[kuh n-fes] /kənˈfɛs/
verb (used with object)
to acknowledge or avow (a fault, crime, misdeed, weakness, etc.) by way of revelation.
to own or admit as true:
I must confess that I haven't read the book.
to declare or acknowledge (one's sins), especially to God or a priest in order to obtain absolution.
(of a priest) to hear the confession of (a person).
to acknowledge one's belief or faith in; declare adherence to.
to reveal by circumstances.
verb (used without object)
to make confession; plead guilty; own:
to confess to a crime.
to make confession of sins, especially to a priest.
(of a priest) to hear confession.
Origin of confess
1300-50; Middle English confessen < Anglo-French, Old French confesser < Medieval Latin confessāre, verbal derivative of Latin confessus, past participle of confitērī to admit, confess, equivalent to con- con- + -fitērī, combining form of fatērī to admit
Related forms
confessable, adjective
confessingly, adverb
half-confessed, adjective
preconfess, verb (used with object)
unconfessed, adjective
unconfessing, adjective
1. See acknowledge. 2. grant, concede.
1. conceal. 2. deny. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for confess
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is with pride I confess myself of this party: perish art!

    Nuts and Nutcrackers Charles James Lever
  • How is it possible for me to confess, when I tell you I know nothing about her?

  • Do you, then, confess that I was not mistaken when I guessed that you were a charming woman?

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • Out of your bed and down on your knees to your own blessed father, and confess your sins.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • I confess I was too agitated to catch every word that was spoken.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
British Dictionary definitions for confess


verb (when transitive, may take a clause as object)
when intr, often foll by to. to make an acknowledgment or admission (of faults, misdeeds, crimes, etc)
(transitive) to admit or grant to be true; concede
(Christianity, mainly RC Church) to declare (one's sins) to God or to a priest as his representative, so as to obtain pardon and absolution
Derived Forms
confessable, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French confesser, from Late Latin confessāre, from Latin confessus confessed, from confitērī to admit, from fatērī to acknowledge; related to Latin fārī to speak
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for confess

late 14c., from Old French confesser (transitive and intransitive), from Vulgar Latin *confessare, from Latin confess-, past participle stem of confiteri "to acknowledge," from com- "together" (see com-) + fateri "to admit," akin to fari "speak" (see fame (n.)).

Its original religious sense was of one who avows his religion in spite of persecution or danger but does not suffer martyrdom. Old French confesser thus had a figurative sense of "to harm, hurt, make suffer." Related: Confessed; confessing. An Old English word for it was andettan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for confess

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for confess

Scrabble Words With Friends