What does penitent mean?

Definitions for penitent
ˈpɛn ɪ təntpen·i·tent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word penitent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. penitentadjective

    (Roman Catholic Church) a person who repents for wrongdoing (a Roman Catholic may be admitted to penance under the direction of a confessor)

  2. penitent, repentantadjective

    feeling or expressing remorse for misdeeds


  1. penitentnoun

    One who repents of sin; one sorrowful on account of his or her transgressions.

  2. penitentnoun

    One under church censure, but admitted to penance; one undergoing penance.

  3. penitentnoun

    One under the direction of a confessor.

  4. penitentadjective

    Feeling pain or sorrow on account of sins or offenses; repentant; contrite; sincerely affected by a sense of guilt, and resolved on amendment of life.

  5. penitentadjective

    Doing penance.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PENITENTadjective

    Repentant; contrite for sin; sorrowful for past transgressions, and resolutely amending life.

    Etymology: penitent, Fr. pœnitens, Lat.

    Much it joys me
    To see you become so penitent. William Shakespeare.

    Give me
    The penitent instrument to pick that bolt. William Shakespeare.

    Nor in the land of their captivity
    Humbled themselves, or penitent besought
    The God of their forefathers. John Milton, Par. Regain’d.

    Provoking God to raise them enemies;
    From whom as oft he saves them penitent. John Milton.

    The proud he tam’d, the penitent he cheer’d,
    Nor to rebuke the rich offender fear’d.
    His preaching much, but more his practice wrought
    A living sermon of the truths he taught. Dryden.

  2. Penitentnoun

    Concealed treasures shall be brought into use by the industry of converted penitents, whose carcases the impartial laws shall dedicate to the worms of the earth. Francis Bacon.

    The repentance, which is formed by a grateful sense of the divine goodness towards him, is resolved on while all the appetites are in their strength: the penitent conquers the temptations of sin in their full force. John Rogers, Sermons.

    The counterfeit Dionysius describes the practice of the church, that the catechumens and penitents were admitted to the lessons and psalms, and then excluded. Edward Stillingfleet.


  1. penitent

    Penitent refers to a person who feels or expresses sincere regret or remorse about their wrongdoing or sin, and seeks forgiveness or redemption. It can also be used as an adjective to describe such feelings or expressions of remorse.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Penitentadjective

    feeling pain or sorrow on account of sins or offenses; repentant; contrite; sincerely affected by a sense of guilt, and resolved on amendment of life

  2. Penitentadjective

    doing penance

  3. Penitentnoun

    one who repents of sin; one sorrowful on account of his transgressions

  4. Penitentnoun

    one under church censure, but admitted to penance; one undergoing penance

  5. Penitentnoun

    one under the direction of a confessor

  6. Etymology: [F. pnitent, L. paenitens, -entis, poenitens, p. pr. of paenitere, poenitere, to cause to repent, to repent; prob. akin to poena punishment. See Pain.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Penitent

    pen′i-tent, adj. suffering pain or sorrow for sin: contrite: repentant.—n. one who is sorry for sin: one who has confessed sin, and is undergoing penance.—ns. Pen′itence, Pen′itency, state of being penitent: sorrow for sin.—adj. Peniten′tial, pertaining to, or expressive of, penitence.—n. a book of rules relating to penance.—adv. Peniten′tially.—adj. Peniten′tiary, relating to penance: penitential.—n. a penitent: an office at the court of Rome for examining and issuing secret bulls, dispensations, &c.: a book for guidance in imposing penances: a place for the performance of penance: a house of correction and punishment for offenders.—adv. Pen′itently.—Penitential garment, a rough garment worn for penance; Penitential psalms, certain psalms suitable for being sung by penitents, as the 6th, 32d, 38th, 51st, 102d, 130th, 143d. [Fr.,—L. pœnitens, -entispœnitēre, to cause to repent.]

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    From _pen_, meaning to write, and _intent_, meaning determination. One who determines for the right.

Editors Contribution

  1. Penitent

    A pretty relaxed word-word that allows some to slip to old ways-guess nothing can be done cauz its kaliyug(according to hindu philosophy)

    none can accuse president thomas jefferson because a wheel chair bound sick man put a spanner in his plans-thomas jefferson according to a ranking ranks high in the best presidents.

    Submitted by Lighthouse21 on March 13, 2018  

How to pronounce penitent?

How to say penitent in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of penitent in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of penitent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of penitent in a Sentence

  1. W. G. Morrice:

    Christians rejoice because God is their heavenly Father who forgives the penitent, because God sent his Son into the world for the salvation of all who have faith, because Jesus Christ not only died but was raised again from the dead and because joy is one of the ninefold fruits of the Spirit.

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"penitent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/penitent>.

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