re·​pen·​tance | \ri-ˈpen-tᵊn(t)s \

Definition of repentance 

: the action or process of repenting especially for misdeeds or moral shortcomings

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Choose the Right Synonym for repentance

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 penitence repentance 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 contrition compunction 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 repentance in a Sentence

preached that repentance was the first step on the path of redemption

Recent Examples on the Web

Christians often fast and pray in repentance, leading up to their celebration of the Resurrection of Christ on Easter. Greg Garrison,, "Ash Wednesday kicks off Lenten lunches, preaching at Advent Cathedral," 14 Feb. 2018 When the outlaw vanishes, then returns years later as a humble stranger quietly performing acts of repentance, a confrontation ensues, illuminating the murky fog of real-world forgiveness. Marisha Pessl, New York Times, "Screams. Tears. Meltdowns. New Picture Books Let Bad Behavior Fly, With Just a Bit of Advice," 6 June 2018 For having denied me anesthesia during the operation, for having added to my suffering, my father made a meagre gesture of repentance. Lu Yang, The New Yorker, "Silver Tiger," 4 June 2017 Imagining a tyrant’s sincere repentance, as Shakespeare did in The Winter’s Tale, Greenblatt claims, is almost as difficult as imagining a statue coming to life. Glenn C. Althschuler,, "'Tyrant' by Stephen Greenblatt: Shakespeare's ideas on tyranny and resistance," 18 May 2018 Martinez said that his life's mission now entails taking God's message of repentance to youth and others at schools, jails and on the streets. Theo Karantsalis, miamiherald, "Christian film festival honors ex-MMA fighter," 8 May 2018 At the end of the film, Pearson speaks to a gay-affirming church in apparent repentance for his intolerance. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "A Christian Awakening?," 24 Apr. 2018 Clergy urge Christians to begin a time of prayer, repentance and fasting on Ash Wednesday. Greg Garrison,, "Candy and ashes: Ash Wednesday is also Valentine's Day," 14 Feb. 2018 Congratulations, your reward for doing so is a combination day of fasting and repentance (for some) for Ash Wednesday and lavish gifts and excess (for some) for Valentine's Day. Clyde Verdin,, "Power moves and power ballads | 'Dunc & Holder' Wednesday recap," 14 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of repentance

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of repentance was in the 14th century

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re·​pen·​tance | \ri-ˈpen-tᵊns \

Kids Definition of repentance

: the action or process of acknowledging regret for having done something wrong

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Comments on repentance

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playful or foolish behavior

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