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). Doublet of penitence.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈpɛn.əns/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: pen‧ance

Noun[edit]

penance (countable and uncountable, 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.
  2. A sacrament in some Christian churches.
  3. Any instrument of self-punishment.
  4. (obsolete) repentance
  5. (obsolete) pain; sorrow; suffering
    • (Can we date this quote by Chaucer and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Joy or penance he feeleth none.

Synonyms[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.