- a punishment undergone in token of penitence for sin.
- a penitential discipline imposed by church authority.
- a sacrament, as in the Roman Catholic Church, consisting in a confession of sin, made with sorrow and with the intention of amendment, followed by the forgiveness of the sin.
Origin of penance
Examples from the Web for penance
It is will always be my penance now always to believe that I didn't do enough for my friend.A New Hampshire Rebellion for Aaron Swartz
January 10, 2014
Penance is available at the Newsstand, Miami and at alldayeveryday.com for $45—$500.Doing ‘Penance’ at Art Basel in Miami
December 7, 2013
“The pain is her penance,” says one of them, amid the screams of labor.Give Dame Judi Dench the Damn Oscar for ‘Philomena’
October 18, 2013
Pay your penance while demonstrating a commitment to public service.Eliot Spitzer’s Comeback Plan: A Run for New York City Comptroller
July 8, 2013
He forced himself to face them regularly as a penance and a corrective.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
I say because it is a part of my penance for the sin which I have sinned.
"No penance at all, I assure you," answered Peter with something like a smile.
Let not the penance for a rashness, to which fate urges me on, attach to my country, but to me.Leila, Complete
I suppose he's going to keep me waiting for days, as a penance.The Incomplete Amorist
- voluntary self-punishment to atone for a sin, crime, etc
- a feeling of regret for one's wrongdoings
- a punishment usually consisting of prayer, fasting, etc, undertaken voluntarily as an expression of penitence for sin
- a punishment of this kind imposed by church authority as a condition of absolution
- (tr) (of ecclesiastical authorities) to impose a penance upon (a sinner)
Word Origin and History for penance
late 13c., "religious discipline or self-mortification as a token of repentance and as atonement for some sin," from Anglo-French penaunce, Old French peneance (12c.), from Latin pænitentia (see penitence). Transferred sense is recorded from c.1300.