penance

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English penaunce, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French peneance, from Latin paenitentia (penitence).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

penance (plural penances)

  1. A voluntary self-imposed punishment for a sinful act or wrongdoing. It may be intended to serve as reparation for the act.
    • Coleridge
      Quoth he, "The man hath penance done, / And penance more will do."
  2. A sacrament in some Christian churches.
  3. (obsolete) repentance
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Wyclif Bible (Luke xv. 7) to this entry?)
  4. (obsolete) pain; sorrow; suffering
    • Chaucer
      Joy or penance he feeleth none.

Quotations[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

penance (third-person singular simple present penances, present participle penancing, simple past and past participle penanced)

  1. To impose penance; to punish.
    • Keats
      Some penanced lady elf.