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English definition of “penitent”

penitent

adjective uk   /ˈpen.ɪ.tənt/ formal us  
showing that you are sorry for something you have done because you feel it was wrong: "I'm sorry," she said with a penitent smile. It was hard to be angry with him when he looked so penitent.
penitence
noun [U] uk   /-təns/ us  
penitently
adverb uk   /-li/ us  

penitent

noun [C] uk   /ˈpen.ɪ.tənt/ formal us  
a person who is performing a formal religious act to show that they are sorry for something they have done wrong
(Definition of penitent from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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