Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “penance”

penance

noun [C/U]  /ˈpen·əns/ us  
activity that shows you regret some previous action, sometimes for religious reasons: [U] They are doing penance for their sins.
(Definition of penance from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of penance?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “penance” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

tankard

a large usually drinking cup, usually made of metal, with sloping sides, a handle, and sometimes a lid, mainly used for drinking beer

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More