[ kuhn-trish-uhn ]
/ kənˈtrɪʃ ən /


sincere penitence or remorse.
Theology. sorrow for and detestation of sin with a true purpose of amendment, arising from a love of God for His own perfections (perfect contrition), or from some inferior motive, as fear of divine punishment (imperfect contrition).

Nearby words

  1. contributor,
  2. contributory,
  3. contributory negligence,
  4. contrite,
  5. contritely,
  6. contrivance,
  7. contrive,
  8. contrived,
  9. control,
  10. control account

Origin of contrition

1250–1300; Middle English contricio(u)n (< Anglo-French) < Late Latin contrītiōn- (stem of contrītiō). See contrite, -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for contrition

British Dictionary definitions for contrition


/ (kənˈtrɪʃən) /


deeply felt remorse; penitence
Christianity detestation of past sins and a resolve to make amends, either from love of God (perfect contrition) or from hope of heaven (imperfect contrition)
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 contrition



c.1300, contrycyun, from Old French contriciun (Modern French contrition) and directly from Latin contritionem (nominative contritio), noun of action from past participle stem of conterere (see contrite).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper