penance


1pen·ance

noun \ˈpe-nən(t)s\

: something that you do or are given to do in order to show that you are sad or sorry about doing something wrong

Full Definition of PENANCE

1
:  an act of self-abasement, mortification, or devotion performed to show sorrow or repentance for sin
2
:  a sacramental rite that is practiced in Roman, Eastern, and some Anglican churches and that consists of private confession, absolution, and a penance directed by the confessor
3
:  something (as a hardship or penalty) resembling an act of penance (as in compensating for an offense)

Examples of PENANCE

  1. He did charitable work as a penance.

Origin of PENANCE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin poenitentia penitence
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Christian Religious Terms

Pentateuch, blasphemy, curate, doxology, eremite, iconoclasm, liturgy, orison, pneuma, reliquary

2penance

verb
pen·ancedpen·anc·ing

Definition of PENANCE

transitive verb
:  to impose penance on

First Known Use of PENANCE

circa 1600

Other Christian Religious Terms

Pentateuch, blasphemy, curate, doxology, eremite, iconoclasm, liturgy, orison, pneuma, reliquary

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: pen–and–ink (adjective)
Previous Word in the Dictionary: penalty stroke
All Words Near: penance

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up penance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).