shrive [shrahyv] ExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for shrive on verb (used with object), shrove or shrived, shriv·en or shrived, shriv·ing.

  1. to impose penance on (a sinner).
  2. to grant absolution to (a penitent).
  3. to hear the confession of (a person).

verb (used without object), shrove or shrived, shriv·en or shrived, shriv·ing. Archaic.

  1. to hear confessions.
  2. to go to or make confession; confess one’s sins, as to a priest.

Origin of shrive before 900; Middle English shriven, schrifen, Old English scrīfan to prescribe, cognate with German schreiben to write ≪ Latin scrībere; see scribe1 Related formsun·shrived, adjective Related Words for shrive purge, acquit, pardon, absolve, repent, forgive, atone, free Examples from the Web for shrive Historical Examples of shrive

  • Shrive me for obeying the Bishop, and bringing doom upon the heretics!

    One Snowy Night

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • Did ever “Father Confessor” have so sweet and so wilful a sinner to shrive!

    The Jessica Letters: An Editor’s Romance

    Paul Elmer More

  • Yet if Father Bastian refused to shrive me, what should come of me?

    All’s Well

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • Confess, dear sinner; I will shrive you and grant absolution for the past, whatever it may be.


    Louisa May Alcott

  • Who will shrive these poor fellows, then, if you have turned your back upon them?

    Robin Hood

    Paul Creswick

  • British Dictionary definitions for shrive shrive verb shrives, shriving, shrove, shrived, shriven (ˈʃrɪvən) or shrived mainly RC Church

    1. to hear the confession of (a penitent)
    2. (tr) to impose a penance upon (a penitent) and grant him sacramental absolution
    3. (intr) to confess one’s sins to a priest in order to obtain sacramental forgiveness

    Derived Formsshriver, nounWord Origin for shrive Old English scrīfan, from Latin scrībere to write Word Origin and History for shrive v.

    Old English scrifan “assign, prescribe, ordain, decree; impose penance, hear confession; have regard for, care for,” apparently originally “to write” (strong, past tense scraf, past participle scrifen), from West Germanic *skriban (cf. Old Saxon scriban, Old Frisian skriva “write; impose penance;” Old Dutch scrivan, Dutch schrijven, German schreiben “to write, draw, paint;” Danish skrifte “confess”), an early borrowing from Latin scribere “to write” (see script (n.)), which in Old English and Scandinavian developed further to “confess, hear confession.”

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