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[pen-uh ns] /ˈpɛn əns/

a punishment undergone in token of penitence for sin.
a penitential discipline imposed by church authority.
a sacrament, as in the Roman Catholic Church, consisting in a confession of sin, made with sorrow and with the intention of amendment, followed by the forgiveness of the sin.
voluntary self-punishment to atone for a sin, crime, etc
a feeling of regret for one’s wrongdoings

(transitive) (of ecclesiastical authorities) to impose a penance upon (a sinner)

late 13c., “religious discipline or self-mortification as a token of repentance and as atonement for some sin,” from Anglo-French penaunce, Old French peneance (12c.), from Latin pænitentia (see penitence). Transferred sense is recorded from c.1300.

Acts done to make up for sin. (See confession and indulgence.)


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