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contrite (adj) repentant.

When you are contrite, you feel very sorry for the bad thing you have done. Someone cheats you of a big sum of money, but has a realization that they have done a bad thing and repent of it. They are then contrite. If one who has committed a sin feels sorry for it, they are contrite.

  • The accused brought before the judge admitted that he had committed the crime, that he was sorry for the crime he had committed, and that he was ready for any punishment he would be given. These contrite words of his surprised everyone there including his attorney.
  • Emperor Ashoka of India shocked at the horror and bloodshed of the Kalinga War, which he had won after a great effort, was repentant of it, and felt so contrite that he immediately renounced war, and devoted the rest of his life to the spread of Buddhism.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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