Meaning of “confess” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"confess" in British English

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confessverb [ I or T ]

uk /kənˈfes/ us /kənˈfes/

B2 to admit that you have done something wrong or something that you feel guilty or bad about:

[ + that ] She confessed to her husband that she had sold her wedding ring.
He confessed to sleeping/having slept through most of the movie.
He has confessed to the murder.
[ + (that) ] I have to confess (that) when I first met Reece I didn't think he was very bright.
It was all very confusing, I must confess.

in the Christian religion, especially the Roman Catholic Church, to tell God or a priest what you have done wrong so that you can be forgiven:

to confess your sins

More examples

  • I have to confess I'm a bit of a sucker for musicals.
  • I must confess that I got my sums wrong - the house extension is costing a lot more than I expected.
  • The killer confessed that he often drugged his victims before he killed them.
  • He was granted immunity from prosecution because he confessed the names of the other spies.
  • He confessed that he had sinful thoughts.

(Definition of “confess” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"confess" in American English

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confessverb [ I/T ]

us /kənˈfes/

to admit that you have done something wrong, or to admit unwillingly that something is true:

[ T ] I’ve got something to confess – I confess that I ate the pie.
[ I ] He confessed to the crime.

In some Christian religions, esp. the Roman Catholic Church, to confess is to tell God or a priest what you have done wrong so God will forgive you.

(Definition of “confess” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)