There was an ominous silence when the jittery defendant rose in court.
1. ominous (adj.) making your think that something bad will happen
2. jittery (adj.) feeling nervous, and sometimes being unable to keep still because of this
He explained in a tremulous voice what had led him to repudiate his confession made at the police station on the night of the crime.
3. tremulous (adj.) [ literary ] if something such as your voice or smile is tremulous, it is not steady, for example because you are afraid or excited
4. repudiate (v.) [ formal ] to say formally that something is not true
Example: They repudiated all accusations of unlawful activity.
(v.) [ formal ] to state that you do not accept or agree with something
Example: Party members appeared on television to repudiate policies they had formaly supported.
5. confession (n.) a spoken or written statement in which you admit that you have commited a crime
Example: Jhon later made a full confession to the police.
(n.) a statement about yourself that you would not normally make because you are embarrassed about it
Example: His speech was seen as a confession of weakness.
make a confession
Example: I have a confession to make ─ I forgot your present.
confessed (adj.), confess (v.)