shrift

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English shrift (confession to a priest; act or instance of this; sacrament of penance; penance assigned by a priest; penitence, repentance; punishment for sin) [and other forms],[1][2] from Late Old English scryft, Old English sċrift (penance, shrift; something prescribed as punishment, penalty; one who passes sentence, a judge), from sċrīfan (of a priest: to prescribe absolution or penance; to pass judgment, ordain, prescribe; to appoint, decree) (whence shrive),[3] from Proto-Germanic *skrībaną (to write), from Latin scrībō (to write), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kreybʰ- (to scratch, tear).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

shrift (countable and uncountable, plural shrifts)

  1. The act of going to or hearing a religious confession.
  2. Confession to a priest.
  3. (obsolete) Forgiveness given by a priest after confession; remission.
    • circa 1594 CE: William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
      [Friar:] Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift. / Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ shrift, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ Arika Okrent (2019-07-05), “12 Old Words That Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms”, in Mental Floss[1], Pocket, retrieved 2021-10-08
  3. ^ Compare “shrift, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1914; “shrift, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present; “shrive, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1914; “shrive, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

Anagrams[edit]