pen·​ti·​men·​to | \ ˌpen-tə-ˈmen-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce pentimento (audio) \
plural pentimenti\ ˌpen-​tə-​ˈmen-​(ˌ)tē \

Definition of pentimento

: a reappearance in a painting of an original drawn or painted element which was eventually painted over by the artist

Examples of pentimento in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But none of this backstory is explained in the film, which instead comes across as the cinematic equivalent of a pentimento, with the trace of the men’s friendship concealed beneath a conventional documentary form. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 5 May 2021 Alabama’s flag is a giant crimson X, St. Andrew’s cross, that’s almost a pentimento of the Confederate flag. Karen Heller, Washington Post, 1 July 2019

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

First Known Use of pentimento

1823, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pentimento

Italian, literally, repentance, correction, from pentire to repent, from Latin paenitēre — more at penitent

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The first known use of pentimento was in 1823

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Cite this Entry

“Pentimento.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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