[ kuhn-trahyt, kon-trahyt ]
See synonyms for: contritecontriteness on

  1. caused by or showing sincere remorse.

  2. filled with a sense of guilt and the desire for atonement; penitent: a contrite sinner.

Origin of contrite

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English contrit, from Anglo-French, from Latin contrītus “worn down, crushed,” past participle of conterere “to wear down, crush, crumble”; equivalent to con- + trite

Other words for contrite

Other words from contrite

  • con·trite·ly, adverb
  • con·trite·ness, noun
  • o·ver·con·trite, adjective
  • o·ver·con·trite·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·con·trite·ness, noun
  • un·con·trite, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use contrite in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for contrite


/ (kənˈtraɪt, ˈkɒntraɪt) /

  1. full of guilt or regret; remorseful

  2. arising from a sense of shame or guilt: contrite promises

  1. theol remorseful for past sin and resolved to avoid future sin

Origin of contrite

C14: from Latin contrītus worn out, from conterere to bruise, from terere to grind

Derived forms of contrite

  • contritely, adverb
  • contriteness, noun

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