- Penitence is the state of having regret for doing something wrong.
- An example of penitence is being upset and regretful of something you've done.
- An example of penitence is a girlfriend begging for her boyfriend to forgive her after she lied to him.
Origin of penitenceOld French ; from Classical Latin paenitentia
First attested circa 13th century, from Middle English penitence, from Old French penitence, from Latin paenitentia (“repentance, penitence"), from paenitÄ“ns (“penitent"), present active participle of paeniteÅ (“regret, repent").