1. Feeling pain or sorrow on account of sins or offenses; repentant; contrite; sincerely affected by a sense of guilt, and resolved on amendment of life.
Be penitent, and for thy fault contrite. --Milton.
The proud he tamed, the penitent he cheered. --Dryden.
2. Doing penance. [Obs.]
1. One who repents of sin; one sorrowful on account of his transgressions.
2. One under church censure, but admitted to penance; one undergoing penance.
3. One under the direction of a confessor.
Note: ☞ Penitents is an appellation given to certain fraternities in Roman Catholic countries, distinguished by their habit, and employed in charitable acts.
adj : feeling or expressing remorse for misdeeds [syn: repentant]
[ant: impenitent, impenitent]
n : (Roman Catholic Church) a person who repents for wrongdoing
(a Roman Catholic may be admitted to penance under the
direction of a confessor)