- feeling or expressing sorrow for sin or wrongdoing and disposed to atonement and amendment; repentant; contrite.
- a penitent person.
- Roman Catholic Church. a person who confesses sin and submits to a penance.
Origin of penitent
SynonymsSee more synonyms for penitent on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for penitent
In one scene, a penitent missus in a shapeless tube dress scratches her head and admits to having crashed the car.Too Sexy for Brazil
October 6, 2011
Still, that might not do it: not every believer, or even all members of the penitent, will be taken.Your Guide to the End of the World
David A. Graham
May 20, 2011
He would later say about his subway pictures that they were made in the “hands of a penitent spy and an apologetic voyeur.”Furtive Photography
May 27, 2010
His admonition last week to the Irish church repeatedly emphasised that heaven still awaits the penitent pedophile priest.Prosecute the Pope
April 1, 2010
I was glad to learn that Mary Magdalene's penitent side was not the main attraction here.Mary Magdalene and Me
November 10, 2009
But if she began to cry, then Harry had the worst of it, and was as penitent as any good child.Weighed and Wanting
The praying of this petition presupposes a penitent state of heart.An Explanation of Luther's Small Catechism
Macdonald's always the first one to go up to the penitent bench.
It only needed a beginning, and the penitent bench would be crowded.
She was surprised at no longer seeing the penitent, who had already gone.The Dream
- feeling regret for one's sins; repentant
- a person who is penitent
- a person who repents his sins and seeks forgiveness for them
- RC Churcha person who confesses his sins to a priest and submits to a penance imposed by him
Word Origin and History for penitent
mid-14c., from Old French pénitent (14c.) and directly from Latin paenitentem (see penitence). As a noun, late 14c., from the adjective.