penance

[pen-uhns]
noun
1.
a punishment undergone in token of penitence for sin.
2.
a penitential discipline imposed by church authority.
3.
a sacrament, as in the Roman Catholic Church, consisting in a confession of sin, made with sorrow and with the intention of amendment, followed by the forgiveness of the sin.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English penaunce < Anglo-French; Old French peneance < Latin paenitentia penitence

penanceless, adjective

penance, pennants.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To penance
Collins
World English Dictionary
penance (ˈpɛnəns)
 
n
1.  voluntary self-punishment to atone for a sin, crime, etc
2.  a feeling of regret for one's wrongdoings
3.  Christianity
 a.  a punishment usually consisting of prayer, fasting, etc, undertaken voluntarily as an expression of penitence for sin
 b.  a punishment of this kind imposed by church authority as a condition of absolution
 
vb
4.  (tr) (of ecclesiastical authorities) to impose a penance upon (a sinner)
 
[C13: via Old French from Latin paenitentia repentance; related to Latin poena penalty]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

penance
late 13c., "religious discipline or self-mortification as a token of repentance and as atonement for some sin," from Anglo-Fr. penaunce, O.Fr. penance, from L. pænitentia (see penitence). Transf. sense is recorded from c.1300.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

penance definition


Acts done to make up for sin. (See confession and indulgence.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
He will do penance by resigning from his cushy job and working in a slum.
He paused and told the students about pilgrimages for purposes of penance.
There are days on the Peninsula when the heat and humidity make the slightest
  body movement seem like a penance.
Laying himself this bare feels like an act of penance for surviving, and makes
  his character all the richer.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;