re·​pent | \ ri-ˈpent How to pronounce repent (audio) \
repented; repenting; repents

Definition of repent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life
2a : to feel regret or contrition
b : to change one's mind

transitive verb

1 : to cause to feel regret or contrition
2 : to feel sorrow, regret, or contrition for


re·​pent | \ ˈrē-pənt How to pronounce repent (audio) \

Definition of repent (Entry 2 of 2)

: creeping, prostrate repent stems

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Other Words from repent


repenter noun

Synonyms for repent

Synonyms: Verb

bemoan, deplore, lament, regret, rue

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Examples of repent in a Sentence


The preacher told us that we would be forgiven for our sins if we repented. criminals who have repented for their crimes The preacher told us that we would be forgiven if we repented our sins.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Unfortunately, people monstrous enough to troll a grieving family are unlikely to repent after such a plea. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: Trolling of Shanann Watts’ family exposes the other dark web," 25 July 2019 So much so that Benchley spent the last decades of his life, and a good deal of the fortune that Jaws delivered to him, trying to repent for the ferociously effective way his fictional story demonized great whites for the rest of us. Neil Swidey,, "We’re afraid of sharks. But maybe we’re not afraid enough.," 9 July 2019 The industry, brought low by #MeToo scandals, was scrambling to repent for the systemic predation of women and the exclusion of people of color. New York Times, "Inclusion Rider? What Inclusion Rider?," 19 June 2019 Some of his old Dixiecrat friends repented; some became Republicans; some were run out of office by liberal challengers. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "Joe Biden’s Segregationist Problem," 19 June 2019 Whether XXXTentacion had repented was another subject of vociferous debate. Ben Sisario, New York Times, "Hero or Villain? Death of Rapper XXXTentacion Divides the Internet," 19 June 2018 For example, in 1995, the Southern Baptist Convention publicly repented of its historical complicity with slave owners and passed a resolution for racial reconciliation. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Before Trump, churches were increasingly multiracial. What next?," 3 July 2018 Easter morning, a day for repenting sins, fitting since Conte will serve as penalty timekeeper for Bruins-Flyers in two hours. Alex Prewitt,, "The NHL Penalty Box Is a Small Glass Case Made for Oddities," 19 Apr. 2018 Eden’s storyline culminates in this incredibly tragic ending, where her affair with Isaac is discovered and she’s executed for refusing to repent. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Max Minghella Talks Playing the Only Good Man in Gilead on The Handmaid's Tale," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'repent.' 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 repent


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1669, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for repent


Middle English, from Anglo-French repentir, from Medieval Latin repoenitēre, from Latin re- + Late Latin poenitēre to feel regret, alteration of Latin paenitēre — more at penitent


Latin repent-, repens, present participle of repere to creep — more at reptile

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Statistics for repent

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for repent

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

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More Definitions for repent



English Language Learners Definition of repent

formal : to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you did and that you want to do what is right


re·​pent | \ ri-ˈpent How to pronounce repent (audio) \
repented; repenting

Kids Definition of repent

: to acknowledge regret for having done something wrong Repent. Say that you are sorry …”— Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux

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More from Merriam-Webster on repent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with repent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for repent

Spanish Central: Translation of repent

Nglish: Translation of repent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of repent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on repent

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marked by turns or indirection

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