Penance definition

pĕnəns
An act of self-mortification or devotion performed voluntarily to show sorrow for a sin or other wrongdoing.
noun
31
11
A sacrament in some Christian churches that includes contrition, confession to a priest, acceptance of punishment, and absolution.
noun
15
5
To impose penance upon.
verb
18
10
(archaic) To impose a penance on.
verb
10
4
A sacrament in some Christian churches.
noun
5
1
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Any act of reparation, self-punishment, etc. done in repentance for a sin or wrongdoing.
noun
4
2
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.

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.

noun
4
3
A voluntary self-imposed punishment for a sinful act or wrongdoing. It may be intended to serve as reparation for the act.
noun
2
1
A sacrament involving the confession of sin, repentance, and acceptance of the satisfaction imposed, followed by absolution by a priest.
noun
2
3
To impose penance; to punish.
verb
0
1
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The satisfaction imposed, as the recital of certain prayers.
noun
0
2
do penance
  • to do one or more acts of penance
idiom
3
1

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
penance
Plural:
penances

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

do penance

Origin of penance

  • Middle English from Old French from Latin paenitentia penitence from paenitēns paenitent- penitent penitent

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English penaunce, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French peneance, from Latin paenitentia (“penitence").

    From Wiktionary