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Definition of "penitential" [pen•i•ten•tial]

  • Of, relating to, or expressing penitence. (adjective)
  • Of or relating to penance. (adjective)
  • A book or set of church rules concerning the sacrament of penance. (noun)
  • A penitent. (noun)

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.

Use "penitential" in a sentence
  • "Folded chasubles were not used, but in penitential times, deacon and subdeacon merely wear their proper vestments, minus the outer vestments of dalmatic and tunicle."
  • "The Bragan rite also mentions the use of the folded chasuble in penitential seasons, including upon Good Friday."
  • "Practices deemed as immoral were physically debilitating; failure to participate in penitential ritual could be punished with disease."