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4 definitions found

From: DICT.TW English-Chinese Dictionary 英漢字典

 pen·i·ten·tia·ry /ˌpɛnəˈtɛn(t)ʃ(ə)ri/

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Pen·i·ten·tia·ry a.
 1. Relating to penance, or to the rules and measures of penance. “A penitentiary tax.”
 2. Expressive of penitence; as, a penitentiary letter.
 3. Used for punishment, discipline, and reformation. Penitentiary houses.”

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Pen·i·ten·tia·ry, n.; pl. Penitentiaries
 1. One who prescribes the rules and measures of penance. [Obs.]
 2. One who does penance. [Obs.]
 3. A small building in a monastery where penitents confessed.
 4. That part of a church to which penitents were admitted.
 5. R. C. Ch. (a) An office of the papal court which examines cases of conscience, confession, absolution from vows, etc., and delivers decisions, dispensations, etc.  Its chief is a cardinal, called the Grand Penitentiary, appointed by the pope. (b) An officer in some dioceses since A. D. 1215, vested with power from the bishop to absolve in cases reserved to him.
 6. A house of correction, in which offenders are confined for punishment, discipline, and reformation, and in which they are generally compelled to labor; a prison; a jail.  Colloquially often shortened to pen.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

      adj : used for punishment or reform of criminals or wrongdoers;
            "penitentiary institutions"
      n : a correctional institution for those convicted of major
          crimes [syn: pen]