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

Other Words from repent


repenter noun

Synonyms for repent

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of repent in a Sentence

Verb 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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On another recent day, a group of antivaccination and antimask protesters followed him from his home to his car, shouting at him, calling him racist, questioning his Roman Catholic faith, and imploring him to repent. Globe Staff,, 26 Mar. 2022 These thoughts and feelings seemed to be spiritual promptings to repent to a bishop. Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 Jan. 2022 That language, Hanks said, reinforces the likelihood that victims will mistake their abuse response for a spiritual prompting to repent. Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Jan. 2022 But some assault survivors said church teachings further intensified their focus on their own conduct and possible need to repent — a theme that has carried into BYU’s disciplinary practices. Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Jan. 2022 One problem with legislating in haste, though, is that the authors may be left to repent at leisure. Los Angeles Times, 31 Oct. 2021 His efforts to repent led him into a spiral of extreme scrupulosity. Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Sep. 2021 Prophets often speak of the need to repent for past wrongdoing, but Hayhoe doesn’t urge guilt on her listeners. Eliza Griswold, The New Yorker, 16 Sep. 2021 During this 24-hour period, observant Jewish people fast, engage in reflection and prayer, and formally repent for any sin that might have been committed during the previous Hebrew year. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 15 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The bishop could take some comfort in his own sermons, which often touched on the theme of God as a merciful parent who offers forgiveness for individuals who are remorseful and repent of sin. David Briggs, cleveland, 21 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Repent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for repent


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

More from Merriam-Webster on repent

Nglish: Translation of repent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of repent for Arabic Speakers


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