penitent

[pen-i-tuhnt]
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adjective
  1. feeling or expressing sorrow for sin or wrongdoing and disposed to atonement and amendment; repentant; contrite.
noun
  1. a penitent person.
  2. Roman Catholic Church. a person who confesses sin and submits to a penance.

Origin of penitent

1325–75; Middle English < Medieval Latin pēnitent-, Latin paenitent- (stem of paenitēns), present participle of paenitēre to regret; replacing Middle English penaunt < Anglo-French; see penance
Related formspen·i·tent·ly, adverbnon·pen·i·tent, adjective, nounun·pen·i·tent, adjectiveun·pen·i·tent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for penitent

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Antonyms for penitent

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for penitent

Contemporary Examples of penitent

  • In one scene, a penitent missus in a shapeless tube dress scratches her head and admits to having crashed the car.

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    Too Sexy for Brazil

    Mac Margolis

    October 6, 2011

  • Still, that might not do it: not every believer, or even all members of the penitent, will be taken.

    The Daily Beast logo
    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.”

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    Furtive Photography

    Philip Gefter

    May 27, 2010

  • His admonition last week to the Irish church repeatedly emphasised that heaven still awaits the penitent pedophile priest.

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    Prosecute the Pope

    Geoffrey Robertson

    April 1, 2010

  • I was glad to learn that Mary Magdalene's penitent side was not the main attraction here.

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    Mary Magdalene and Me

    Tracy Quan

    November 10, 2009

Historical Examples of penitent


British Dictionary definitions for penitent

penitent

adjective
  1. feeling regret for one's sins; repentant
noun
  1. a person who is penitent
  2. Christianity
    1. a person who repents his sins and seeks forgiveness for them
    2. RC Churcha person who confesses his sins to a priest and submits to a penance imposed by him
Derived Formspenitence, nounpenitently, adverb

Word Origin for penitent

C14: from Church Latin paenitēns regretting, from paenitēre to repent, of obscure origin
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 penitent
adj.

mid-14c., from Old French pénitent (14c.) and directly from Latin paenitentem (see penitence). As a noun, late 14c., from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper