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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce shrift (audio)

Dictionary definition of shrift

The act of confessing one's sins and seeking forgiveness, typically as part of a religious or spiritual practice, especially in the Christian tradition.
"The priest offered absolution during her shrift."

Detailed meaning of shrift

Historically, it was commonly associated with the sacrament of confession, where individuals would confess their sins to a priest or clergy member. During this confession, the priest would offer guidance, counsel, and absolution, granting forgiveness for the confessed sins. The term "short shrift" is also used idiomatically, referring to a brief or curt dismissal or inadequate attention given to someone's concerns or requests. In this context, it conveys the idea of a quick and perfunctory assessment or treatment, often without sufficient consideration or thorough examination. Overall, "shrift" relates to the act of confessing and seeking forgiveness in a religious context and is sometimes used figuratively to imply a hasty or inadequate response.

Example sentences containing shrift

1. The priest heard her shrift in the confessional.
2. Confession is an essential part of shrift.
3. He received a good shrift after his sincere confession.
4. The priest assigned her a penance during her shrift.
5. A shrift is necessary for the forgiveness of sins.
6. The practice of shrift dates back to the Middle Ages.

History and etymology of shrift

The noun 'shrift' has its etymological origins in Old English, specifically from the word 'scrift,' which is related to the verb 'scrīfan,' meaning 'to impose a penance' or 'to confess sins.' In the Christian tradition, 'shrift' refers to the act of confessing one's sins and seeking forgiveness, often as part of a religious or spiritual practice. It involves the confession of one's wrongdoing to a priest or religious authority, followed by the imposition of a penance or the granting of absolution. The term 'shrift' underscores its historical association with the sacrament of confession and the seeking of spiritual purification and forgiveness through the acknowledgment of one's sins.

Quiz: Find the meaning of shrift

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Further usage examples of shrift

1. She felt relieved after her shrift was over.
2. A shrift can be a difficult but necessary experience.
3. The penance given during a shrift is meant to be restorative.
4. In some branches of Christianity, shrift is a sacrament.
5. To receive a good shrift, one must confess sincerely and accept penance.
6. After committing a grave sin, she sought shrift from the priest to ease her conscience.
7. The church offered a quiet place for people to receive shrift and find solace.
8. In the dimly lit confessional, he poured out his heart during the shrift.
9. Seeking shrift, he kneeled before the altar, tears streaming down his face.
10. The priest provided a compassionate ear during the shrift, offering forgiveness.
11. Her burdened soul felt lighter after the shrift, as if a weight had been lifted.
12. The act of shrift allowed him to reconcile with his past mistakes.
13. Confessing her sins during the shrift brought her inner peace.
14. Many find solace in the practice of shrift, a pathway to redemption.
15. The priest's words of absolution resonated deeply with those seeking shrift.
16. Through shrift, he hoped to cleanse his soul and start anew.
17. The church bell tolled, signaling the time for shrift and reflection.
18. She found strength in the act of shrift, letting go of her guilt.
19. During shrift, the priest emphasized the importance of forgiveness.
20. The ancient ritual of shrift provided a sense of renewal for the faithful.
21. The confessional was a sacred space for the practice of shrift.
22. The act of shrift brought him closer to God and his community.
23. After shrift, she felt a deep sense of spiritual renewal.
24. The priest's gentle guidance during shrift helped him heal.
25. In the quiet of the chapel, she sought shrift and found forgiveness.



confession, concealment, secrecy, denial


SAT 9 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Divine and Mystical, Sacred and Profane

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