confessor

[kuhn-fes-er]
noun
1.
a person who confesses.
2.
a priest authorized to hear confessions.
3.
a person who confesses faith in and adheres to the Christian religion, especially in spite of persecution and torture but without suffering martyrdom.
4.
the Confessor, Edward the Confessor.
Also, confesser.


Origin:
before 1000; Middle English, Old English (in pl: confessores) < Late Latin; see confess, -tor

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World English Dictionary
confessor (kənˈfɛsə)
 
n
1.  chiefly Christianity, RC Church a priest who hears confessions and sometimes acts as a spiritual counsellor
2.  history a person who bears witness to his Christian religious faith by the holiness of his life, esp in resisting threats or danger, but does not suffer martyrdom
3.  a person who makes a confession

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

confessor
late O.E., "one who avows his religion," especially in the face of danger, but does not suffer martyrdom, from L. confessor, agent noun from confiteri (see confess). Meaning "one who hears confessions" is from 1340; this properly would be L. confessarius, but L. confessor
was being used in this sense from the 9th century. Edward the Confessor (c.1003-1066, canonized 1161), last Anglo-Saxon king, was pious enough but does not seem to fit his title; perhaps so called to distinguish him from another Anglo-Saxon saint/king, Edward the Martyr, who does.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He's become a driving psychiatrist of sorts, a traffic confessor.
Many of those he writes about obviously no longer see him as reporter or
  writer, but as confessor and friend.
By nature he is a confessor, a scab-scratcher, a ceaseless self-examiner.
Getting names may be easy, or it may require the skills of a therapist and the
  patience of a confessor.
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