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 penitencerepentance adds the implication of a resolve to change.
repentance accompanied by a complete change of charactercontrition stresses the sorrowful regret that constitutes true penitence.
tearful expressions of contritioncompunction 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 WebHis 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, chicagotribune.com, 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, chicagotribune.com, 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, chicagotribune.com, 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.