Definition of penitence
: the quality or state of being penitent : sorrow for sins or faults Forgiveness requires penitence.
Examples of penitence in a Sentence
the sincerity of the player's penitence is questionable—he began to express remorse only after the suspension was handed down
Recent Examples of penitence from the Web
Initially jarring, Vendafreddo’s approach allows Tommy to convey skepticism, penitence and revulsion in ways that add surprising depth to the character.
Her figures are to the fore: mainly barefoot women in simple, timeless dresses whose staring Iberian eyes contribute to an aura of both power and penitence.
Perhaps Tabitha Soren’s just doing some kind of bizarre community-service penitence for her part in corrupting the literacy of American youth.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'penitence'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of penitence
Middle English, from Anglo-French penitance, from Medieval Latin poenitentia, alteration of Latin paenitentia regret, from paenitent-, paenitens, present participle
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of penitence
PENITENCE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of penitence for English Language Learners
: a feeling of deep sadness because you have done something wrong
PENITENCE Defined for Kids
Definition of penitence for Students
: deep sadness that a person feels for his or her sins or faults
Seen and Heard
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