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penitent

[pen-i-tuh nt] /ˈpɛn ɪ tənt/
adjective
1.
feeling or expressing sorrow for sin or wrongdoing and disposed to atonement and amendment; repentant; contrite.
noun
2.
a penitent person.
3.
Roman Catholic Church. a person who confesses sin and submits to a penance.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English < Medieval Latin pēnitent-, Latin paenitent- (stem of paenitēns), present participle of paenitēre to regret; replacing Middle English penaunt < Anglo-French; see penance
Related forms
penitently, adverb
nonpenitent, adjective, noun
unpenitent, adjective
unpenitently, adverb
Synonyms
1. remorseful, rueful, sorrowful.
Antonyms
1. unrepentant, impenitent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for penitent
  • Just what might have been done by a penitent nation is not made clear.
  • There was a penitent nature to the soldier's words.
  • He visits her grave, penitent.
  • But the idea is not that a nation of penitents would make better fighters.
  • It is strange to think – but the original idea behind penitentiaries was for the prisoners to be penitent.
  • There may be much to be penitent about.
  • The penitent man shall pass.
  • It was a haven for the pious and tbe penitent.
  • The penitent asked him why he had so much spared his weakness.
  • The priest may not, even of his voluntary accord, testify as to what was said in the confessional booth by the penitent.
British Dictionary definitions for penitent

penitent

/ˈpɛnɪtənt/
adjective
1.
feeling regret for one's sins; repentant
noun
2.
a person who is penitent
3.
(Christianity)
  1. a person who repents his sins and seeks forgiveness for them
  2. (RC Church) a person who confesses his sins to a priest and submits to a penance imposed by him
Derived Forms
penitence, noun
penitently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Church Latin paenitēns regretting, from paenitēre to repent, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for penitent
adj.

mid-14c., from Old French pénitent (14c.) and directly from Latin paenitentem (see penitence). As a noun, late 14c., from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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