Etymology
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fess (v.)

shortened form of confess, attested by 1840, American English. With up (adv.) from 1930. Related: Fessed; fesses; fessing.

fess (n.)

wide horizontal band across an escutcheon, late 15c., from Old French faisce, from Latin fascia "a band" (see fasces).

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Definitions of fess

fess (n.)
(heraldry) an ordinary consisting of a broad horizontal band across a shield;
Synonyms: fesse
From wordnet.princeton.edu