“During his stay in prison, the felon expressed penitence for his crimes.”
What is the best definition of penitence?
Penitence (noun) – the humble and sorrowful expression of regret or remorse
Alternate forms of word:
Penitent (adjective) – humbly and sorrowfully expressing regret or remorse
Penitent (noun) – a person who expresses penitence
Penitential (adjective) – characterized by the expression of penitence
GRE pro tips:
You’ve surely heard of a penitentiary, another name for a jail or prison. Back in the day, the “penitentiary” was so named because one of its goals was to inspire penitence in the criminals who served their time. But, of course, it’s not guaranteed that being in prison will make one truly penitent. The true expression of penitence requires sincere remorse, or humble and sorrowful regret for one’s actions. True penitence cannot be forced – it must come from within!
“I was not willing to offer my forgiveness without clear indications of his penitence.”
“The penitent had returned to make amends.”
“The child was forced to remain in the penitential seclusion of his bedroom.”