re·​pen·​tance | \ ri-ˈpen-tᵊn(t)s How to pronounce repentance (audio) \

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 Compare this with the first of the Gospels, that of Mark, in which Jesus repeatedly cries out for repentance. Daniel J. Mahoney, National Review, "Pope Francis, Wayward Shepherd," 6 Feb. 2020 For many Christian denominations, Ash Wednesday is a day of both fasting and repentance. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "When Is Ash Wednesday 2020? Everything You Need To Know About The First Day of Lent," 3 Feb. 2020 There are all of his beautiful last poems of repentance to Prue. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Clive James Got It Right," 30 Nov. 2019 The Christian liturgical season of Advent - which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and goes through Christmas Eve - has been viewed historically as a time of repentance and fasting, yet also as a time of joy as Christmas approaches. al, "Advent season begins," 2 Dec. 2019 Deathbed repentances are never supposed to work in art. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Clive James Got It Right," 30 Nov. 2019 Perhaps, it can be suggested, that in such cases repentance can be realized through one’s children. Rabbi Avi Weiss,, "The failings of parents can be corrected by their children," 25 Nov. 2019 If we are tempted to despair, the joyous proclamation that, by His grace, Hell has a glorious alternative should fill us with a lively hope that leads to repentance. Nicholas Frankovich, National Review, "Hell Is Real," 5 Nov. 2019 The High Holidays are celebrations but also calls to personal reflection, repentance, and change. Denise Coffey,, "Service Ushers In Wishes For A Good Year," 7 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for repentance

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for repentance

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Repentance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for repentance


re·​pen·​tance | \ ri-ˈpen-tᵊns How to pronounce repentance (audio) \

Kids Definition of repentance

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

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