An example of penitent is a child who is sorry he misbehaved and who apologizes.
An example of penitent is a person who confesses to a priest and then, as directed, says five Hail Marys.
Other Word Forms
Origin of penitent
- Middle English from Old French from Medieval Latin pēnitēns pēnitent- from Latin paenitēns present participle of paenitēre to repent
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition