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confess (v.)

late 14c., transitive and intransitive, "make avowal or admission of" (a fault, crime, sin, debt, etc.), from Old French confesser (transitive and intransitive), from Vulgar Latin *confessare, a frequentative form from Latin confess-, past participle stem of confiteri "to acknowledge," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + fateri "to admit," akin to fari "speak," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say."

Its original religious sense was in reference to one who avows his religion in spite of persecution or danger but does not suffer martyrdom (compare confessor). Old French confesser thus had also a figurative sense of "to harm, hurt, make suffer." Related: Confessed; confessing. An Old English word for it was andettan.

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Definitions of confess from WordNet

confess (v.)
confess to a punishable or reprehensible deed, usually under pressure;
Synonyms: squeal / fink
confess (v.)
admit (to a wrongdoing);
She confessed that she had taken the money
Synonyms: concede / profess
confess (v.)
confess to God in the presence of a priest, as in the Catholic faith;
From wordnet.princeton.edu