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penitent

[pen-i-tuh nt] /ˈpɛn ɪ tənt/
adjective
1.
feeling or expressing sorrow for sin or wrongdoing and disposed to atonement and amendment; repentant; contrite.
noun
2.
a penitent person.
3.
Roman Catholic Church. a person who confesses sin and submits to a penance.
Origin of penitent
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English < Medieval Latin pēnitent-, Latin paenitent- (stem of paenitēns), present participle of paenitēre to regret; replacing Middle English penaunt < Anglo-French; see penance
Related forms
penitently, adverb
nonpenitent, adjective, noun
unpenitent, adjective
unpenitently, adverb
Synonyms
1. remorseful, rueful, sorrowful.
Antonyms
1. unrepentant, impenitent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for penitent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But if she began to cry, then Harry had the worst of it, and was as penitent as any good child.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • The praying of this petition presupposes a penitent state of heart.

  • Macdonald's always the first one to go up to the penitent bench.

  • It only needed a beginning, and the penitent bench would be crowded.

  • She still saw the dress of the penitent who was at the confessional near the entrance.

    The Dream Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for penitent

penitent

/ˈpɛnɪtənt/
adjective
1.
feeling regret for one's sins; repentant
noun
2.
a person who is penitent
3.
(Christianity)
  1. a person who repents his sins and seeks forgiveness for them
  2. (RC Church) a person who confesses his sins to a priest and submits to a penance imposed by him
Derived Forms
penitence, noun
penitently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Church Latin paenitēns regretting, from paenitēre to repent, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for penitent
adj.

mid-14c., from Old French pénitent (14c.) and directly from Latin paenitentem (see penitence). As a noun, late 14c., from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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