Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “penance”

penance

noun [C or U] uk   /ˈpen.əns/ us  
an act that shows that you feel sorry about something that you have done, sometimes for religious reasons: As a penance, she said she would buy them all a box of chocolates. They are doing penance for their sins.Making and accepting apologiesSin
(Definition of penance from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © 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

stampede

When animals or people stampede, they all move quickly in the same direction, often because they are frightened.

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