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penitent (adj) repentant.
When you are penitent you feel sincerely sorry for something wrong you have done, or a sin you have committed, and you intend not to do it again. A penitent criminal is a criminal who repents of his crime and does not want to repeat it. Penitent persons are remorseful.
- The innocent smile of the child made him penitent for the killing of its mother. He felt extremely sorry for his cruel act and vowed never to commit such crimes again.
- Sentenced for child abduction, he became penitent. He felt genuinely sorry for his crime and willingly underwent the punishment as he felt that he deserved it.