A priest entering a confessional.
- An example of penance is when you publicly try to make up for your misdeeds.
- An example of penance is when you confess to a priest and are forgiven.
- An example of penance is when you say ten Hail Marys to earn forgiveness.
Penance is self-punishment done to try to right a wrong, or the receipt of absolution from sins from a priest by fulfilling some requirement.
- a sacrament involving the confession of sin, repentance, and acceptance of the satisfaction imposed, followed by absolution by a priest
- the satisfaction imposed, as the recital of certain prayers
- any act of reparation, self-punishment, etc. done in repentance for a sin or wrongdoing
Origin of penanceMiddle English ; from Old French peneance ; from Classical Latin paenitentia, poenitentia ; from paenitens: see penitent
Archaic to impose a penance on
to do one or more acts of penance
- An act of self-mortification or devotion performed voluntarily to show sorrow for a sin or other wrongdoing.
- Penance A sacrament in some Christian churches that includes contrition, confession to a priest, acceptance of punishment, and absolution. Also called reconciliation.
transitive verbpen·anced, pen·anc·ing, pen·anc·es
To impose penance upon.
Origin of penanceMiddle English, from Old French, from Latin paenitentia, penitence, from paenit&emacron;ns, paenitent-, penitent; see penitent.
(third-person singular simple present penances, present participle penancing, simple past and past participle penanced)