remorse

Synonym Chooser

How is the word remorse distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of remorse are compunction, contrition, penitence, and repentance. While all these words mean "regret for sin or wrongdoing," 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

When is compunction a more appropriate choice than remorse?

While in some cases nearly identical to remorse, compunction implies a painful sting of conscience especially for contemplated wrongdoing.

had no compunctions about taking back what is mine

When is it sensible to use contrition instead of remorse?

The words contrition and remorse are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, contrition stresses the sorrowful regret that constitutes true penitence.

tearful expressions of contrition

When would penitence be a good substitute for remorse?

The synonyms penitence and remorse are sometimes interchangeable, but penitence implies sad and humble realization of and regret for one's misdeeds.

absolution is dependent upon sincere penitence

When might repentance be a better fit than remorse?

The words repentance and remorse can be used in similar contexts, but repentance adds the implication of a resolve to change.

repentance accompanied by a complete change of character

Thesaurus Entries Near remorse

Cite this Entry

“Remorse.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/remorse. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

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