verb (used without object)
- to feel sorry, self-reproachful, or contrite for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude, etc. (often followed by of): He repented after his thoughtless act.
- to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better; be penitent.
verb (used with object)
- to remember or regard with self-reproach or contrition: to repent one’s injustice to another.
- to feel sorry for; regret: to repent an imprudent act.
- to feel remorse (for); be contrite (about); show penitence (for)he repents of his extravagance; he repented his words
- botany lying or creeping along the ground; reptantrepent stems
c.1300, “to feel such regret for sins or crimes as produces amendment of life,” from Old French repentir (11c.), from re-, here probably an intensive prefix (see re-), + Vulgar Latin *penitire “to regret,” from Latin poenitire “make sorry,” from poena (see penal). The distinction between regret (q.v.) and repent is made in many modern languages, but the differentiation is not present in older periods. Related: Repented; repenting.