[ pen-i-ten-shuh l ]
/ ˌpɛn ɪˈtɛn ʃəl /


of, pertaining to, proceeding from, or expressive of penitence or repentance.


a book or code of canons relating to penance, its imposition, etc.

Origin of penitential

1500–10; < Medieval Latin pēnitēntiālis, Late Latin paenitēntiālis. See penitent, -ial

Related forms

pen·i·ten·tial·ly, adverbun·pen·i·ten·tial, adjectiveun·pen·i·ten·tial·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for penitential

British Dictionary definitions for penitential


/ (ˌpɛnɪˈtɛnʃəl) /


of, showing, or constituting penance


mainly RC Church a book or compilation of instructions for confessors
a less common word for penitent (def. 2), penitent (def. 3)

Derived Forms

penitentially, adverb
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