1. To hear or receive the confession of; to administer confession and absolution to; said of a priest as the agent. That they should shrive their parishioners. (Piers Plowman) Doubtless he shrives this woman, . . . Else ne’er could he so long protract his speech. (Shak) Till my guilty soul be shriven. (Longfellow)
2. To confess, and receive absolution; used reflexively. Get you to the church and shrive yourself. (Beau & Fl)
Origin: Shrived or Shrove; Shriven or Shrived; Shriving OE. Shriven, schriven, AS. Scrivan to shrive, to impose penance or punishment; akin to OFries. Skriva to impose punishment; cf. OS. Biskriban to be troubled. Cf. Shrift, Shrovetide.