[ ri-pent ]
See synonyms for repent on
verb (used without object)
  1. to feel sorry, self-reproachful, or contrite for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude, etc. (often followed by of): He repented after his thoughtless act.

  2. to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one's life for the better; be penitent.

verb (used with object)
  1. to remember or regard with self-reproach or contrition: to repent one's injustice to another.

  2. to feel sorry for; regret: to repent an imprudent act.

Origin of repent

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English repenten, from Old French repentir, from re- re- + pentir “to feel sorrow” (from Latin paenitēre “to regret, be sorry”; see penitent)

Other words from repent

  • re·pent·er, noun
  • re·pent·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·re·pent·ed, adjective
  • un·re·pent·ing, adjective
  • un·re·pent·ing·ly, adverb

Words Nearby repent

Other definitions for repent (2 of 2)

[ ree-puhnt, ri-pent ]


Origin of repent

First recorded in 1660–70; from Latin rēpent- stem of rēpēns “crawling,” present participle of rēpere “to crawl, creep”; perhaps akin to serpere “to creep, crawl” (see serpent ) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use repent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for repent (1 of 2)


/ (rɪˈpɛnt) /

  1. to feel remorse (for); be contrite (about); show penitence (for): he repents of his extravagance; he repented his words

Origin of repent

C13: from Old French repentir from re- + pentir to be contrite, from Latin paenitēre to repent

Derived forms of repent

  • repenter, noun

British Dictionary definitions for repent (2 of 2)


/ (ˈriːpənt) /

  1. botany lying or creeping along the ground; reptant: repent stems

Origin of repent

C17: from Latin rēpere to creep

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