1300-50;Middle Englishconfessen < Anglo-French,Old Frenchconfesser < Medieval Latinconfessāre, verbal derivative of Latinconfessus, past participle of confitērī to admit, confess, equivalent to con-con- + -fitērī, combining form of fatērī to admit
late 14c., from O.Fr. confesser, from L. confessus, pp. of confiteri "to acknowledge," from com- "together" + fatus, pp. of fateri "to admit," akin to fari "speak" (see fame). Its original religious sense was of one who avows his religion in spite of persecution or danger but does not suffer martyrdom. Related: Confessed "self-acknowledged" (1560s).