Penitent meaning

pĕn'ĭ-tənt
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.

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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.

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Feeling or expressing remorse for one's misdeeds or sins; contrite.
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One who is penitent.
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A person performing penance under the direction of a confessor.
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Truly sorry for having sinned or done other wrong and willing to atone; contrite; repentant.
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A penitent person.
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A person receiving or intending to receive the sacrament of penance.
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Feeling pain or sorrow on account of sins or offenses; repentant; contrite; sincerely affected by a sense of guilt, and resolved on amendment of life.
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Doing penance.

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One who repents of sin; one sorrowful on account of his or her transgressions.
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One under church censure, but admitted to penance; one undergoing penance.
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One under the direction of a confessor.
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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
  • From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin paenitens, poenitens (“penitent"), present participle of Latin paenitere, poenitere (“to cause to repent, intrans. repent, regret").
    From Wiktionary