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2017 Word of the Year

penitential

[pen-i-ten-shuh l] /ˌpɛn ɪˈtɛn ʃəl/
adjective
1.
of, pertaining to, proceeding from, or expressive of penitence or repentance.
noun
2.
3.
a book or code of canons relating to penance, its imposition, etc.
Origin of penitential
1500-1510
1500-10; < Medieval Latin pēnitēntiālis, Late Latin paenitēntiālis. See penitent, -ial
Related forms
penitentially, adverb
unpenitential, adjective
unpenitentially, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for penitential
Historical Examples
  • He cannot even command the price of a penitential three-fingers of rye.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • I could tell his intonation of a penitential psalm among a thousand.

    Simon Dale

    Anthony Hope
  • In all the penitential discipline of the church also bond and free were on an equality.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner
  • It was a kind of penitential class for dunces during play‑time.

    The Martian George Du Maurier
  • I learnt from the monk that he was a Trappist, and that he was making a penitential tour.

    Mauprat George Sand
  • And these penitential exercises in detective work—what have they brought forth?

    The Readjustment Will Irwin
  • Consequently, the Senora had laid aside her penitential garments.

    Remember the Alamo Amelia E. Barr
  • Every day, every hour, may afford matter for penitential sorrow.

  • What penitential attitude did he assume before Mr. Pickwick?

    Fly Leaves C. S. Calverley
  • penitential days are coming for the German Empire and for the German people.

    Our Part in the Great War Arthur Gleason
British Dictionary definitions for penitential

penitential

/ˌpɛnɪˈtɛnʃəl/
adjective
1.
of, showing, or constituting penance
noun
2.
(mainly RC Church) a book or compilation of instructions for confessors
3.
a less common word for penitent (sense 2), penitent (sense 3)
Derived Forms
penitentially, adverb
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 penitential
adj.

c.1500, from Medieval Latin penitentialis, from Latin paenitentia "repentance" (see penitence).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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