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[shrift] /ʃrɪft/
noun, Archaic.
the imposition of penance by a priest on a penitent after confession.
absolution or remission of sins granted after confession and penance.
confession to a priest.
before 900; Middle English; Old English scrift penance; cognate with German, Dutch schrift writing; see shrive, -th1
Can be confused
shift, shrift. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for shrift
  • The author gives short shrift to the heartbreak of social upheaval on such a huge scale.
  • She has been given short shrift by the intellectual establishment.
  • Most online music sites give the bands short shrift when slicing up the revenue pie.
  • Don't give short shrift to the budget and its justification.
  • Music gets short shrift, and the determination to cover the globe seems to have lapsed.
British Dictionary definitions for shrift


(archaic) the act or an instance of shriving or being shriven See also short shrift
Word Origin
Old English scrift, from Latin scriptumscript
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 shrift
O.E. scrift "confession to priest, followed by penance and absolution," verbal noun from scrifan "to impose penance" (see shrive). Short shrift was originally the brief time for a condemned criminal to confess before execution (1594); fig. extension to "little or no consideration" is first attested 1814.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with shrift
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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