- The definition of penitent is feeling or showing remorse for something.
An example of penitent is a child who is sorry he misbehaved and who apologizes.
- In the Roman Catholic religion, a penitent is a person who confesses his sins to a priest and does penance.
An example of penitent is a person who confesses to a priest and then, as directed, says five Hail Marys.
Origin of penitentOld French ; from Classical Latin paenitens, present participle of paenitere, to repent; probably akin to paene, scarcely: see passion
- a penitent person
- a person receiving or intending to receive the sacrament of penance
- One who is penitent.
- A person performing penance under the direction of a confessor.
Origin of penitentMiddle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin p&emacron;nit&emacron;ns, p&emacron;nitent-, from Latin paenit&emacron;ns, present participle of paenit&emacron;re, to repent.
(comparative more penitent, superlative most penitent)