[ kuhn-trish-uhn ]
See synonyms for contrition on
  1. sincere penitence or remorse.

  2. 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 ).

Origin of contrition

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English contricio(u)n, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin contrītiōn-, stem of contrītiō “grief,” literally, “a wearing down”; equivalent to contrite + -ion

Other words for contrition

Words Nearby contrition Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use contrition in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for contrition


/ (kənˈtrɪʃən) /

  1. deeply felt remorse; penitence

  2. 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