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[kuh n-fesh-uh-nl] /kənˈfɛʃ ə nl/
of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or based on confession:
confessional release.
the place set apart for the hearing of confessions by a priest.
French Furniture. a high, upholstered wing chair of the 18th century.
Origin of confessional
1590-1600; < Medieval Latin confessiōnāle, neuter of confessiōnālis (adj.); see confession, -al1; in def. 2, 3 < French < Medieval Latin
Related forms
pseudoconfessional, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for confessional
  • It becomes an open diary or confessional booth, where inward thoughts are publicly aired.
  • In part it appears to have been a sort of confessional to which he confided the records of his moral auto-stethoscope.
  • The saint was no less admirable in the confessional and in the private direction of souls than in the pulpit.
  • He spent a great part of the day in the confessional with incredible patience, and there finished what he had begun in the pulpit.
  • Beware of alcohol or other factors that may encourage confessional impulses.
  • Heck, if you want to be sly, duck into the confessional and discuss it in private out of view.
  • Go to a public school or some other confessional or private school.
  • They produced two babies and wrote a few confessional songs about each other before an acrimonious breakup.
  • The self-cleansing confessional has long been his stock-in-trade.
  • The same people today are grasping for ways to cope with threats from confessional elements they cannot intuitively understand.
British Dictionary definitions for confessional


of, like, or suited to a confession
(Christianity, mainly RC Church) a small stall, usually enclosed and divided by a screen or curtain, where a priest hears confessions
a book of penitential prayers
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
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Word Origin and History for confessional

"place where a priest sits to hear confession," 1727, from French confessional, from Medieval Latin confessionale, noun use of neuter of confessionalis (adj.), from confiteri (see confess).


"pertaining to confession," mid-15c., from Medieval Latin confessionalis (see confessional (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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