from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The condition or quality of being penitent; regret for wrongdoing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state of being penitent; sorrow for having committed sin or for having offended; repentance; contrition.
  • noun Synonyms Contrition, Compunction, etc. See repentance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality or condition of being penitent; the disposition of a penitent; sorrow for sins or faults; repentance; contrition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Condition of being penitent.
  • noun Feeling of regret or remorse for doing wrong or sinning.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun remorse for your past conduct


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested circa 13th century, from Middle English penitence, from Old French penitence, from Latin paenitentia ("repentance, penitence"), from paenitēns ("penitent"), present active participle of paeniteō ("regret, repent").


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