What Does Penitent Mean?


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Muddassar Memon answered
The term penitent is typically used as an adjective to mean either feeling or expressing remorse intended for one's sins or misdeeds. When used as a noun it refers to a person who is penitent. In this case it may also refer to one who is performing penance with the guidance and direction of a confessor. It is often used as a synonym for the term repentant.
The term is Middle English; coming from the Medieval Latin term penitens, penitent-; which has its roots in the Latin word paenitens, a present participle of the term paenitere, meaning to repent. The adverb form of the word penitent is penitently.
A related notion is the priest penitent privilege, which is also referred to as the clergy privilege. An application of the code of privileged communication, this privilege is intended to safeguard communications that take place between a clergy member and the communicant, who discloses information in confidence.

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