v. con·fessed, con·fess·ing, con·fess·es
1. To disclose (something damaging or inconvenient to oneself); admit. See Synonyms at acknowledge.
2. To acknowledge belief or faith in; profess: confess one's religion.
a. To make known (one's sins) to God or to a priest.
b. To hear the confession of (a penitent).
1. To admit or acknowledge something damaging or inconvenient to oneself: The suspect confessed to the crime.
2. To disclose one's sins to a priest.
[Middle English confessen, from Old French confesser, from Vulgar Latin *cōnfessāre, from Latin cōnfitērī, cōnfess- : com-, intensive pref.; see COM- + fatērī, to admit; see bhā-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
con·fessed·ly (-ĭd-lē) adv.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.