penitential Definition

  • 1relating to or expressing penitence or penance
  • 2of or relating to the Christian season of Lent

Using penitential: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "penitential" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    He wrote a penitential letter to his ex-girlfriend.

  • Example

    The priest gave him a penitential assignment to complete.

  • Example

    The church service during Lent is often penitential in nature.

penitential Synonyms and Antonyms

Phrases with penitential

  • a religious ceremony or ritual that expresses sorrow for sins and seeks forgiveness


    The priest led the congregation in a penitential rite, asking for forgiveness for their sins.

  • a psalm that expresses sorrow for sins and asks for forgiveness


    During Lent, many churches recite penitential psalms as part of their services.

  • a practice of self-discipline or self-punishment undertaken as an expression of penitence or repentance


    Some people engage in penitential disciplines like fasting or self-flagellation during Lent.

Origins of penitential

from Old French 'penitentiel', from Latin 'paenitentialis', from 'paenitentia' meaning 'penitence'


Summary: penitential in Brief

The term 'penitential' [ˌpenəˈtenʃ(ə)l] refers to expressing penitence or penance, often in a religious context. It can describe a person who is repentant or contrite, as well as practices like penitential discipline. The Christian season of Lent is often associated with penitential themes, such as penitential rites and psalms.