Synonym Chooser

How is the word repentance distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of repentance are compunction, contrition, penitence, and remorse. While all these words mean "regret for sin or wrongdoing," repentance adds the implication of a resolve to change.

repentance accompanied by a complete change of character

When could compunction be used to replace repentance?

In some situations, the words compunction and repentance are roughly equivalent. However, 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 repentance?

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

tearful expressions of contrition

When is penitence a more appropriate choice than repentance?

The words penitence and repentance can be used in similar contexts, but penitence implies sad and humble realization of and regret for one's misdeeds.

absolution is dependent upon sincere penitence

When can remorse be used instead of repentance?

Although the words remorse and repentance have much in common, 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

Thesaurus Entries Near repentance

Cite this Entry

“Repentance.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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