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Etymology 1[edit]

confession +‎ -al


confessional (comparative more confessional, superlative most confessional)

  1. In the manner or style of a confession.
    • 1991, Manju Jain, A critical reading of the selected poems of T.S. Eliot (page 77)
      The studied reticence of the poems in quatrains is opposed to the more confessional aspects of the monologue.
  2. Officially practicing a particular religion, as a state or organization. See confessionalism 1.

Etymology 2[edit]

From French confessionnal.


English Wikipedia has an article on:

confessional (plural confessionals)

  1. (Roman Catholic church) A small room where confession—the sacrament of reconciliation—is performed by a priest.
    Synonym: confession booth
    • ca. 1909, Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth, Letter XI:
      The confessional's chief amusement has been seduction–in all the ages of the Church.
    • 1956, Delano Ames, chapter 13, in Crime out of Mind[1]:
      In one of the aisles there was an elaborately carved confessional box and I recognised the village priest in his heavy mountain boots and black cassock as he entered it and drew the dark velvet curtains behind him.
  2. A confession.
    • 2015 April 15, Jonathan Martin, “For a Clinton, It’s Not Hard to Be Humble in an Effort to Regain Power”, in The New York Times[2]:
      When a 35-year-old Bill Clinton, famously the nation’s youngest former governor, set out in 1982 to reclaim the job he had lost two years earlier, he began with a remarkable televised confessional. “My daddy never had to whip me twice for the same thing,” Mr. Clinton told Arkansans in a campaign commercial, acknowledging voters’ anger over his having raised a hated vehicle fee and vowing to listen better if they gave him another chance as governor.

Related terms[edit]