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Word of the Day
Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Definitions for penitent

  1. feeling or expressing sorrow for sin or wrongdoing and disposed to atonement and amendment; repentant; contrite.
  2. a penitent person.
  3. Roman Catholic Church. a person who confesses sin and submits to a penance.

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Citations for penitent
O that it were to do! What have we done? / Didst ever hear a man so penitent? William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2, 1594
But could he believe as these men did that every law, every custom had come down from Mount Sinai? Could there be anything more contradictory than a penitent who remained a heretic? Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Estate, translated by Joseph Singer, Elaine Gottlieb, and Elizabeth Shub, 1969
Origin of penitent
1325-1375
Penitent entered English in the 1300s and ultimately finds its roots in the Latin paenitēre meaning "to regret."