Meaning of “penance” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"penance" in British English

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penancenoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈpen.əns/ us /ˈpen.əns/

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.

(Definition of “penance” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"penance" in American English

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penancenoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈpen·əns/

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)