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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At the time of the harvest God will give us much mercy and grace and time to fully repent. The Rev. Mike Taylor,, "Taylor: It’s harvest time, a glorious time, and we must ‘come forth as gold’ | RELIGION COMMENTARY," 19 Mar. 2021 Namely, the promise of economic recovery lifting commodity prices and lowering debt profiles, and, for some, the need to repent for past profligate spending. Adriano Marchese, WSJ, "Talking Markets: As the Pandemic Broke Out, U.K. Miners Paid Out," 5 Mar. 2021 Remember, before anyone points the finger at the church and calls them hypocrites, eventually God will judge all who do not repent and turn back to Him. The Rev. Mike Taylor,, "Taylor: God will judge all, but He will also deliver us from evil | RELIGION COMMENTARY," 26 Dec. 2020 The long discussion of what God goes through before allowing the waters to come down reveals a God who waits until the last instant to eradicate the world – hoping against hope that humankind would repent. Rabbi Avi Weiss,, "Noach parsha: The flood story’s expansive narrative," 19 Oct. 2020 During this solemn 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, "Dear Abby: She warned her man she’d be moving south. Was he listening?," 27 Sep. 2020 For religious Jews, Rosh Hashana is a time for self-reflection, to repent for the past, and to move forward, Levy said. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, "'We really go all out': How food ties this Phoenix teacher to her roots for Rosh Hashana," 19 Sep. 2020 Jewish leaders will see whether months of frantic pandemic planning succeeded in creating meaningful worship during this sacred time of year, when Jews typically gather by the hundreds to repent for sins and ask God for forgiveness. Lois K. Solomon,, "The latest challenge in Jewish history: COVID-19 Rosh Hashanah," 17 Sep. 2020 Some are punished when they’re caught, others publicly repent, while a few just shrug off the violations during a pandemic that has claimed more than 350,000 lives worldwide. Sylvie Corbet, The Denver Post, "Hypocrisy gone viral? Officials set bad COVID-19 examples.," 27 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for repent

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for repent

Last Updated

21 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Repent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on repent

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