Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.


v. shrove (shrōv) or shrived, shriv·en (shrĭv′ən) or shrived, shriv·ing, shrives
1. To hear the confession of and give absolution to (a penitent).
2. To obtain absolution for (oneself) by confessing and doing penance.
v.intr. Archaic
1. To make or go to confession.
2. To hear confessions.

[Middle English schriven, from Old English scrīfan, from Latin scrībere, to write; see skrībh- in Indo-European roots.]

shriv′er n.



v. shrove shrived, shriv•en shrived, shriv•ing. v.t.
1. to impose penance on (a sinner).
2. to grant absolution to (a penitent).
v.i. Archaic.
3. to confess one's sins, as to a priest.
[before 900; Middle English; Old English scrīfan to assign, impose as a penance or sentence, c. Old Frisian skrīva to write, shrive, Old High German scrīban to write, prescribe]
References in classic literature ?
When once more he came to land, he told his tale to a holy hermit and was shriven, but ever and anon afterward an agony comes upon him and forces him to tell the tale again, even as he has just done to the wedding guest.
We were all of one mind that it was best to have the ten thousand with the curse; but in some way they prevailed upon Sir John, so that we were blest and shriven against our will.
There are two confessionals, in one or the other of which we must be shriven.