An act of self-mortification or devotion performed voluntarily to show sorrow for a sin or other wrongdoing.
A sacrament in some Christian churches that includes contrition, confession to a priest, acceptance of punishment, and absolution. Also called reconciliation.
To impose penance upon.
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.