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 character contrition 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
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.