Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[fes] /fɛs/
Verb phrases
fess up, Informal. to admit or concede, especially freely.
Origin of fess2
1830-40; aphetic shortening of confess Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for fessed up
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At least you have done the square thing and 'fessed up, and now you'll be man enough to take what's coming to you.

    The Story of Sugar Sara Ware Bassett
  • "Added the preacher's claim," blurted Terry, and 'fessed up.

    The Pike's Peak Rush Edwin L. Sabin
  • And strangely enough when we 'fessed up, he didn't seem astounded in the least.

    Wanderlust Robert R. (Robert Rice) Reynolds
  • "I'll tell you about it after Mollie has 'fessed up," evaded Betty, seeming a trifle sorry for her confidence.

British Dictionary definitions for fessed up


(informal, mainly US) (intransitive) foll by up. to make a confession
Word Origin
C19: shortened from confess
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 fessed up



shortened form of confess, attested by 1840, American English. Related: Fessed; fesses; fessing.


"white horizontal band across an escutcheon," late 15c., from Old French faisce, from Latin fascia (see fasces).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for fessed up


verb phrase

To confess; admit the truth: Then why doesn't the judge come clean and fess up?/ He finally fessed up to something that I've known a long time (1840+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for fessed up


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for fessed

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for fessed up