from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A member of a Roman Catholic brotherhood in parts of the Southwest, of Native American and Hispanic origin, that celebrates the Passion with rites involving fasting and self-flagellation.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A penitent, especially in the ecclesiastical sense; specifically, one of a group of flagellants in New Mexico, who are said to submit themselves to crucifixion.
Spanish, from Latin paenitēns, paenitent-, penitent; see penitent.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)