The DICT Development Group
5 definitions found
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Confession \Con*fes"sion\, n. [F. confession, L. confessio.]
1. Acknowledgment; avowal, especially in a matter pertaining
to one's self; the admission of a debt, obligation, or
With a crafty madness keeps aloof,
When we would bring him on to some confession
Of his true state. --Shak.
2. Acknowledgment of belief; profession of one's faith.
With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
--Rom. x. 10.
3. (Eccl.) The act of disclosing sins or faults to a priest
in order to obtain sacramental absolution.
Auricular confession . . . or the private and
special confession of sins to a priest for the
purpose of obtaining his absolution. --Hallam.
4. A formulary in which the articles of faith are comprised;
a creed to be assented to or signed, as a preliminary to
admission to membership of a church; a confession of
5. (Law) An admission by a party to whom an act is imputed,
in relation to such act. A judicial confession settles the
issue to which it applies; an extrajudical confession may
be explained or rebutted. --Wharton.
Confession and avoidance (Law), a mode of pleading in which
the party confesses the facts as stated by his adversary,
but alleges some new matter by way of avoiding the legal
effect claimed for them. --Mozley & W.
Confession of faith, a formulary containing the articles of
faith; a creed.
General confession, the confession of sins made by a number
of persons in common, as in public prayer.
Westminster Confession. See Westminster Assembly, under
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :
n 1: an admission of misdeeds or faults
2: a written document acknowledging an offense and signed by the
3: (Roman Catholic Church) the act of a penitent disclosing his
sinfulness before a priest in the sacrament of penance in the
hope of absolution
4: a public declaration of your faith
5: the document that spells out the belief system of a given
church (especially the Reformation churches of the 16th
From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :
69 Moby Thesaurus words for "confession":
abject apology, acceptance, acknowledgment, adherents, admission,
agape, allowance, apology, appreciation, asperges, aspersion,
auricular confession, avowal, bar mitzvah, bas mitzvah,
breast-beating, by-line, celebration, church, circumcision,
citation, class, communion, concession, confession of faith,
confirmation, contrition, credit line, declaration,
declaration of faith, denomination, disciples, excuse, faith,
followers, high celebration, incense, invocation,
invocation of saints, ism, kiss of peace, lesser litany, litany,
love feast, lustration, mea culpa, order, owning, owning up, pax,
penitence, persuasion, processional, profession,
reciting the rosary, recognition, reference, regrets,
rite of confession, school, sect, shrift, signature,
telling of beads, the confessional, the confessionary, trademark,
From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary :
(1) An open profession of faith (Luke 12:8). (2.) An
acknowledment of sins to God (Lev. 16:21; Ezra 9:5-15; Dan.
9:3-12), and to a neighbour whom we have wronged (James 5:16;
From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :
CONFESSION, crim. law, evidence. The voluntary declaration made by a person
who has committed a crime or misdemeanor, to another, of the agency or
participation which he had in the same.
2. When made without bias or improper influence, confessions are
admissible in evidence, as the highest and most satisfactory proof: because
it is fairly presumed that no man would make such a confession against
himself, if the facts confessed were not true but they are excluded, if
liable to the of having been unfairly obtained.
3. Confessions should be received with great caution, as they are
liable to many objections. There is danger of error from the misapprehension
of witnesses, the misuse of words, the failure of a party to express his own
meaning, the prisoner being oppressed by his unfortunate situation, and
influenced by hope, fear, and sometimes a worse motive, to male an untrue
confession. See the case of the two Boorns in Greenl. Ev. Sec. 214, note 1;
North American Review, vol. 10, p. 418; 6 Carr. & P. 451; Joy on Confess. s.
14, p. 100; and see 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 85.
4. A confession must be made voluntarily, by the party himself, to
another person. 1. It must be voluntary. A confession, forced from the mind
by the flattery of hope, or the torture of fear, comes in so questionable a
shape, when it is to be considered as evidence of guilt, that Lo credit
ought to be given to it. 1 Leach, 263. This is the principle, but what
amounts to a promise or a threat, is not so easily defined. Vide 2 East, P.
C. 659; 2 Russ. on Cr. 644 4 Carr. & Payne, 387; S. C. 19 Eng. Com. L. Rep.
434; 1 Southard, R. 231 1 Wend. R. 625; 6 Wend. R. 268 5 Halst. R. 163
Mina's Trial, 10; 5 Rogers' Rec. 177 2 Overton, R. 86 1 Hayw. (N. C.) R,
482; 1 Carr. & Marsh. 584. But it must be observed that a confession will be
considered as voluntarily made, although it was made after a promise of
favor or threat of punishment, by a person not in authority, over the
prisoner. If, however, a person having such authority over him be present at
the time, and he express no dissent, evidence of such confession cannot be
given. 8 Car. & Payne, 733.
5. - 2. The confession must be made by the party to be affected by it.
It is evidence only against him. In case of a conspiracy, the acts of one
conspirator are the acts of all, while active in the progress of the
conspiracy, but after it is over, the confession of one as to the part he
and others took in the crime, is not evidence against any but himself. Phil.
Ev. 76, 77; 2 Russ. on Cr. 653.
6. - 3. The confession must be to another person. It may be made to a
private individual, or under examination before a magistrate. The whole of
the confession must be taken, together with whatever conversation took place
at the time of the confession. Roscoe's Ev. N. P. 36; 1 Dall. R. 240 Id.
392; 3 Halst. 27 5 2 Penna. R. 27; 1 Rogers' Rec. 66; 3 Wheeler's C. C.
533; 2 Bailey's R. 569; 5 Rand. R. 701.
7. Confession, in another sense, is where a prisoner being arraigned
for an offence, confesses or admits the crime with which he is charged,
whereupon the plea of guilty is entered. Com Dig. Indictment, K; Id.
Justices, W 3; Arch. Cr. Pl. 1 2 1; Harr. Dig. b. t.; 20 Am. Jur. 68; Joy on
8. Confessions are classed into judicial and extra judicial. Judicial
confessions are those made before a magistrate, or in court, in the due
course of legal proceedings; when made freely by the party, and with a full
and perfect knowledge of their nature and consequences, they are sufficient
to found a conviction. These confessions are such as are authorized by a
statute, as to take a preliminary examination in writing; or they are by
putting in the plea of guilty to an indictment. Extra judicial confessions
are those which are made by the part elsewhere than before a magistrate or
in open court. 1 Greenl. Ev. Sec. 216. See, generally, 3 Bouv. Inst. n.
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