American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An act of self-mortification or devotion performed voluntarily to show sorrow for a sin or other wrongdoing.
- n. A sacrament in some Christian churches that includes contrition, confession to a priest, acceptance of punishment, and absolution. Also called reconciliation.
- v. To impose penance upon.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Penitence; repentance. [Penance and do penance are generally used in the Douay version where the King James version has repentance and repent. They are also used by Wyclif in his translation.]
- n. Sorrow for sin shown by outward acts; self-punishment expressive of penitence or repentance; the suffering to which a person voluntarily subjects himself, as by fasting, flagellation, self-imposed tasks, etc., as an expression of penitence; the outward acts by which sorrow for sin is shown.
- n. Eccles., sorrow for sin shown by outward acts under authority and regulation of the church; contrition manifested by confession and satisfaction and entitling to absolution; hence, absolution ensuing upon contrition and confession with satisfaction or purpose of satisfaction. Absolution has been given on these terms since primitive times in the church, and this ancient institution was afterward formally recognized as a sacrament by the Roman Catholic, the Greek, and other churches. The sacrament of penance includes four parts; contrition, confession, satisfaction, and absolution. It is required that there should be a genuine and a supernatural contrition for the sin committed—that is, a sorrow produced by the influence of the Holy Spirit, coupled with a firm purpose of amendment; that the sin should be confessed fully and unreservedly to a priest; and that satisfaction be made for it by a voluntary submission to such penalty or discipline as the priest may require and by restitution to persons wronged; and absolution can be granted only on these conditions. It can be administered by no one who has not received priest's orders. Every member of the Roman Catholic Church is obliged at least once a year to confess to his parish priest and to do penance under his direction; he cannot partake of communion without previous absolution, but is not either before confession or during his penitential discipline regarded as under ecclesiastical censure, which is inflicted on the contumacious only.
- n. The penalty or discipline imposed by the priest in the above sacrament.
- n. Hence Any act of austerity or asceticism practised with a religious motive.
- n. Suffering; sorrow; misery.
- n. An instrument or means of self-punishment used by persons undergoing penance either inflicted or voluntary. Shirts of horsehair with the inner surface rough and bristling, garments of sackcloth worn next the skin, and iron belts are frequently mentioned. A more unusual form is a garment composed of links of iron similar to chain-mail, but with the ends of the wires turned up and sharpened on the inner side. See
- n. To show one's self repentant by submitting to the punishment of censure or suffering.
- To inflict penance upon; discipline by penance.
- n. A voluntary self-imposed punishment for a sinful act or wrongdoing. It may be intended to serve as reparation for the act.
- n. A sacrament in some Christian churches.
- v. To impose penance; to punish.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete Repentance.
- n. obsolete Pain; sorrow; suffering.
- n. (Eccl.) A means of repairing a sin committed, and obtaining pardon for it, consisting partly in the performance of expiatory rites, partly in voluntary submission to a punishment corresponding to the transgression, imposed by a confessor or other ecclesiastical authority. Penance is the fourth of seven sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church.
- n. colloq. Any act performed by a person to atone for an offense to another; an act of atonement.
- v. To impose penance; to punish.
- n. a Catholic sacrament; repentance and confession and atonement and absolution
- n. remorse for your past conduct
- n. voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for some wrongdoing
- Middle English, from Old French, from Latin paenitentia, penitence, from paenitēns, paenitent-, penitent; see penitent. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Pereira (Portuguese), and Wuyka (Polish), we find in Matthew 3: 2, and thirty-four other places, instead of "repent ye" the words, "do penance," while in Matthew 3: 8, and some twenty other places, the word that should be translated "repentance," is rendered _penance.”
“_I say to you_, says our Saviour, _there shall be joy in Heaven upon one sinner that doth penance; more than upon ninety-nine just, who need not penance_,  and so the state of redemption is a hundred times better than that of innocence.”
“In what he calls his "penance," the congressman has now written 10,000 letters to the families of fallen servicemen and women.”
“And, while the word "penance" does not appear in the 1611 Bible, in deference to the Puritans, neither does the word "tyrant", in deference to the king.”
“And her penance is merciless: she must find a way to lure her former socialite friends into the tofu tenement she has been reduced to.”
“In response to the Grand Jury report, some suggested that as an expression of penance Penn State should forfeit its last home game against Nebraska.”
“His sidekick is really funny; the spirits force him to wear a samurai topknot in penance for his cowardice in the “battle league” and the reactions of other people seeing it never get old (I especially like the waitress who is so flustered she drops her serving tray).”
“And in penance, too, because more than once I have criticized liberals for being either too bleak or too forgiving of unacceptable behavior -- like crime, before Bill Clinton brought the party to its senses -- or too quick to judge any use of military force overseas immoral (Add: the first Gulf War, for example).”
“I'd cut my hands off in penance, but I need them to climb.”
“I once suggested that Wehner spend some time emptying bedpans at Walter Reed in penance for his horrific performance in the White House.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘penance’.
A complete Barron's Wordlist for GRE preparation. Your online flashcard replacement.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
Words only (I left out the expressions) from Geza Kerenyi's EN-HU interpreters' dictionary. Most of them pose some difficulty when interpreted between HU and EN in either or both directions.
Christian word branding; common English word-associatives connected to Bible terminology or scripture.
I also have a general Bible-word list.
Amazed… or awestruck.
You might want to leave a comment with title and artist somewhere. Thanks.
an immense, grandiloquent list that loads like a thousand years sentence in stone. new words are in the other lists.
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Looking for tweets for penance.