noun Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French penitance, from Medieval Latin poenitentia, alteration of Latin paenitentia regret, from paenitent-, paenitens, present participle Date: 13th century the quality or state of being penitent ; sorrow for sins or faults Synonyms: penitence, repentance, contrition, compunction, remorse mean regret for sin or wrongdoing. penitence implies sad and humble realization of and regret for one's misdeeds <
absolution is dependent upon sincere penitence
. repentance adds the implication of a resolve to change <
repentance accompanied by a complete change of character
. contrition stresses the sorrowful regret that constitutes true penitence <
tearful expressions of contrition
. compunction implies a painful sting of conscience especially for contemplated wrongdoing <
had no compunctions about taking back what is mine
. remorse suggests prolonged and insistent self-reproach and mental anguish for past wrongs and especially for those whose consequences cannot be remedied <
thieves untroubled by feelings of remorse

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • PÉNITENCE — La pénitence peut n’être qu’expiatoire et renvoyer aux religions qui apaisent la culpabilité à l’aide de rites piaculaires. Si l’on en croit René Girard (La Violence et le sacré , Paris, 1972), le premier sacrifice de la première victime surgit… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • penitence — PENITENCE. s. f. Repentir, regret d avoir offense Dieu. La penitence est une vertu chrétienne. la penitence doit estre sincere & constante. la penitence n est point veritable quand elle n est point accompagnée d une ferme resolution de ne plus… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Penitence — Pénitence Catholicisme Religions sœurs (branches) Catholicisme · Orthodoxie · Protestantisme Spécificités Église catholique romaine · Histoire de l Église catholique romaine Spécificités …   Wikipédia en Français

  • penitence — penitence, repentance, contrition, attrition, compunction, remorse denote sorrow or regret for sin or wrongdoing. Penitence implies little more than such sorrow or regret {the outward signs of penitence} {all calls to penitence fall on deaf ears …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Penitence — Pen i*tence, n. [F. p[ e]nitence, L. paenitentia. See {Penitent}, and cf. {Penance}.] The quality or condition of being penitent; the disposition of a penitent; sorrow for sins or faults; repentance; contrition. Penitence of his old guilt.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • penitence — c.1200, from O.Fr. penitence (11c.), from L. paenitentia repentance, from paenitentum (nom. paenitens) penitent, prp. of paenitere cause or feel regret, probably originally is not enough, is unsatisfactory, from paene nearby, almost …   Etymology dictionary

  • penitence — [pen′i təns] n. [OFr < L paenitentia] the state of being penitent; repentance SYN. PENITENCE implies sorrow over having sinned or done wrong; REPENTANCE implies full realization of one s sins or wrongs and a will to change one s ways;… …   English World dictionary

  • penitence — index remorse Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • penitence — [n] shame, sorrow anguish, attrition, compunction, contriteness, contrition, debasement, degradation, distress, grief, humbling, humiliation, penance, qualm, regret, remorse, remorsefulness, repentance, rue, ruefulness, ruth, sadness, scruple,… …   New thesaurus

  • pénitence — (pé ni tan s ) s. f. 1°   Retour du pécheur à Dieu, avec une ferme résolution de ne plus pécher à l avenir. •   Dieu absout aussitôt qu il voit la pénitence dans le coeur ; l Église, quand elle la voit dans les oeuvres, PASC. Pens. XXIV, 62, éd.… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • PÉNITENCE — s. f. Repentir, regret d avoir offensé Dieu. La pénitence est une vertu chrétienne. La pénitence doit être sincère et confiante. La pénitence n est point véritable, si elle n est accompagnée d une ferme résolution de ne plus pécher. Une pénitence …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

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