Simple Definition of penance
: 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
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
Definition of penance
: to impose penance on
First Known Use of penance
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