- 1Voluntary self-punishment inflicted as an outward expression of repentance for having done wrong: he had done public penance for those hasty wordsMore example sentences
- Ignorant and wicked are the doings of those priests who, in the case of the dying, reserve canonical penances for purgatory.
- In the bitter cold of winter, the yogi undertook various penances which, it was said, gave him great powers.
- Speaking of which, will the guidelines for penances have to be re-written?
- 2A Christian sacrament in which a member of the Church confesses sins to a priest and is given absolution. In the Roman Catholic Church often called sacrament of reconciliation.More example sentences
- The penitent then leaves the confessional and goes and prays his penance in the church.
- In the fragile and apocalyptic early church, penance was conceived as a public reconciliation, necessary to the very existence of the congregation.
- This ritual of confession, absolution and penance inadvertently hides as much as it discloses.
- 2.1A religious observance or other duty required of a person by a priest as part of this sacrament to indicate repentance.More example sentences
- They extended to religious observance and penance, or expiation, though in the later period there is a tendency to concentrate on what looks more today, in the west, like law.
- I'm doing my duty and my penance now, but I'll always be a woman who loves a good show.
- On the minus side, being presented with such an array of dishes almost always results in the type of culinary blow-out which requires hours of penance in the gym afterwards.
verb[with object] • archaic Back to top
- Impose a penance on: a hair shirt to penance him for his folly in offendingMore example sentences
- For instance, if in an emotional dream you injured someone intentionally, you could perform a simple penance the next day to atone, such as fasting one meal.
- They confess sins, do penance and engage in bhakti and karma yoga to raise consciousness.
Middle English: from Old French, from Latin paenitentia 'repentance', from the verb paenitere 'be sorry'.