Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
penance (plural penances)
- A voluntary self-imposed punishment for a sinful act or wrongdoing. It may be intended to serve as reparation for the act.
- Quoth he, "The man hath penance done, / And penance more will do."
- A sacrament in some Christian churches.
- (obsolete) repentance
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Wyclif Bible (Luke xv. 7) to this entry?)
- (obsolete) pain; sorrow; suffering
- Joy or penance he feeleth none.
- 2009: Stuart Heritage, Hecklerspray, Friday the 22nd of May in 2009 at 1 o’clock p.m., “Jon & Kate Latest: People You Don’t Know Do Crap You Don’t Care About”
- You know all this , and how you don’t know if they’re really splitting up or it’s just an act, and how you can’t be bothered to find out because wasting even a fraction of your brainpower on those bright orange clueless dicksplats would make you just as bad as them and you’d feel duty-bound to fling yourself under an industrial threshing machine as penance? You do? Good.
voluntary self-imposed punishment
sacrament in some churches