AskDefine | Define shrive

Dictionary Definition

shrive v : confess to a punishable or reprehensible deed, usually under pressure [syn: confess, squeal] [also: shrove, shriven]

User Contributed Dictionary



Old English scrīfan, from West Germanic *skrīban, from scribo. Cognate with Dutch schrijven, German schreiben; and (from Latin) with French écrire, Spanish escribir.



  1. (transitive and intransitive) To hear or receive a confession (of sins etc.)
  2. To prescribe penance or absolution
  3. (intransitive or reflexive) To confess, and receive absolution
    "Twas a good thought, boy, to come here and shrive", - The Croppy Boy, trad Irish song.


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

absolve, acquit, administer absolution, administer extreme unction, amnesty, clear, confess, decontaminate, destigmatize, discharge, dismiss, dispense from, exculpate, excuse, exempt, exempt from, exonerate, forgive, free, give absolution, grant amnesty to, grant forgiveness, grant immunity, grant remission, hear confession, justify, let go, let off, make confession, nonpros, pardon, purge, quash the charge, receive absolution, release, remit, set free, spare, vindicate, whitewash, withdraw the charge
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