con·​tri·​tion | \ kən-ˈtri-shən How to pronounce contrition (audio) \

Definition of contrition

: the state of being contrite : repentance She shed tears of contrition for her sins.

Choose the Right Synonym for contrition

penitence, repentance, contrition, compunction, remorse mean regret for sin or wrongdoing. penitence implies sad and humble realization of and regret for one's misdeeds. absolution is dependent upon sincere penitence repentance adds the implication of a resolve to change. repentance accompanied by a complete change of character contrition stresses the sorrowful regret that constitutes true penitence. tearful expressions of contrition compunction implies a painful sting of conscience especially for contemplated wrongdoing. had no compunctions about taking back what is mine remorse suggests prolonged and insistent self-reproach and mental anguish for past wrongs and especially for those whose consequences cannot be remedied. thieves untroubled by feelings of remorse

Examples of contrition in a Sentence

Were her tears a true sign of contrition? once again she heard her abusive husband's tearful expressions of contrition
Recent Examples on the Web His heartfelt contrition may bring some reconciliation for the indigenous people affected by this disturbing part of my country’s history and the many Canadians frustrated, saddened and embarrassed by it. Michael Taube, WSJ, 17 Apr. 2022 Though any criminal defendant's statements are protected by the First Amendment, they can be used to establish a person's state of mind and could influence how a judge views their actions and their contrition. Hannah Rabinowitz And Tara Subramaniam, CNN, 25 Mar. 2022 His public contrition came in a small conference room off the media lounge on Wednesday, with only the usual group of reporters on hand. New York Times, 16 Mar. 2022 Perhaps his contrition during our conversation will lay the long-standing complaint to rest. Los Angeles Times, 14 Jan. 2022 He should be offered forgiveness and be able to move on with his life and career, after his contrition. William Lee,, 10 Dec. 2021 Because the 2022 season was delayed only by a week and no games will be lost, MLB apparently feels no need to show any contrition for the damage the sport did to itself over the winter. Paul Sullivan,, 31 Mar. 2022 While President Joe Biden's withdrawal of troops by August 31 is inevitable, the speed at which the situation descended into chaos, and the White House's lack of contrition and flexibility has left allies spinning. Luke Mcgee, CNN, 24 Aug. 2021 As bits of what clearly was Smith’s prepared remarks emerged in and among his thoughts about contrition, God’s purpose and not putting up with anyone’s trash talk anymore, the Oscars became the most riveting improv session in recent memory. Michael Phillips,, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contrition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of contrition

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contrition

see contrite

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The first known use of contrition was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Contrition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on contrition

Nglish: Translation of contrition for Spanish Speakers


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