Penitence definition

pĕnĭ-təns
The condition or quality of being penitent; regret for wrongdoing.
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The state of being penitent; repentance.
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Feeling of regret or remorse for doing wrong or sinning.
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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.

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Origin of penitence

  • 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 paeniteō (“regret, repent").

    From Wiktionary