pen·​i·​ten·​tial | \ ˌpe-nə-ˈten(t)-shəl How to pronounce penitential (audio) \

Definition of penitential

: of or relating to penitence or penance

Other Words from penitential

penitentially \ ˌpe-​nə-​ˈten(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce penitential (audio) \ adverb

Examples of penitential in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Purchase of pardons had traditionally allowed people to bypass the penitential rituals the Church required for remission of sins. Maureen Quilligan, WSJ, 1 Feb. 2022 The choir – split into two groups to accommodate social distancing – offers four works that touch on penitential themes. oregonlive, 22 Mar. 2022 But there’s something penitential about her account, a purging of her regret and guilt about her co-workers (many of whom testify here) but also her stupidity, about business and men. John Anderson, WSJ, 15 Mar. 2022 Today is Ash Wednesday, which for Christians marks the start of the 40-day penitential season of Lent. Editors, USA TODAY, 2 Mar. 2022 The services during Yom Kippur are held continuously through the day and include readings from the Torah and the reciting of penitential prayers. CNN, 2 Sep. 2021 Or could the dust be ash, akin to the penitential mark that some Christians wear on their brows on Ash Wednesday? Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 30 Apr. 2021 March Madness is an essentially penitential affair, a series of physical and spiritual trials interrupted by familiar rhythms, not unlike the experience of a novice in a monastery. Matthew Walther, WSJ, 1 Apr. 2021 There is no Kingdom of God without the penitential turn of the soul to the grace and goodness of God. Daniel J. Mahoney, National Review, 6 Feb. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of penitential

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of penitential was before the 12th century

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penitential psalm

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Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Penitential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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