• synonyms


[ri-pen-tns, -pen-tuh ns]
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  1. deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for a past sin, wrongdoing, or the like.
  2. regret for any past action.

Origin of repentance

1300–50; Middle English repentaunce < Old French repentance. See repent1, -ance
Related formsnon·re·pent·ance, noun


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1. contriteness, penitence, remorse. 2. sorrow, qualms.


1. impenitence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for repentance


  1. remorse or contrition for one's past actions or sins
  2. an act or the process of being repentant; penitence
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

Word Origin and History for repentance


c.1300, from Old French repentance "penitence" (12c.), from present participle stem of repentir (see repent).

Repentance goes beyond feeling to express distinct purposes of turning from sin to righteousness; the Bible word most often translated repentance means a change of mental and spiritual attitude toward sin. [Century Dictionary]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper