Definition of repent in English:



  • 1Feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing or sin.

    ‘the Padre urged his listeners to repent’
    ‘he repented of his action’
    • ‘People have often repented of the sales they have made, but that had no place in court, he said.’
    • ‘Investors in growing enterprises have repented of their boom-era zeal and incautiousness, and are now subjecting every deal to microscopic scrutiny.’
    • ‘It seems Faustus hears what the Evil Angel says, but tells himself that even if he were a devil, God will pity him if he repents.’
    • ‘Wonder if Janet will repent for her theft, or get caught further and further in a web of deceit.’
    • ‘She repents when she meets him, and moves into the place he is staying, near Msimangu's Mission House.’
    • ‘If he sees, for example, that a wrongdoer has genuinely repented and that no good would come of forcing the miscreant to do jail time, he'll suspend his sentence.’
    • ‘Hermione is not rejected by her husband, who repents when he learns of the oracle and of his son's death as foretold by it.’
    • ‘Miss Macleod added that her expiring brother said that he had always repented of his actions.’
    • ‘Then I realised that was the wrong spirit in which to do it and repented and only came back to the idea and consented to do it much much later, about three years ago.’
    • ‘As in the scripture, the innocent Job must repent in order to be saved.’
    • ‘He shows excessive regret and wants to repent by embracing death.’
    • ‘Then, assured that the company had repented of their evil deeds and intentions, he granted his full, sovereign forgiveness to all.’
    • ‘It may include feelings of guilt or profanation, at times engendering a twinge-or surge-of regret, an impulse to repent.’
    • ‘With the devil given the chance to inhabit a body and repent, the mood is strictly Clerkenwell cabaret.’
    • ‘Franzen confesses his sin and repents by giving away his television set.’
    • ‘Titian later altered the background, painting out Dosso's intrusive architectural additions, which were doubtlessly prompted by Alfonso but then repented of.’
    • ‘Because of all this, Cruise repents and learns that fidelity to a loved one is not so bad after all.’
    • ‘Midas soon repented of his wish because he could not even eat because the bread he tried to put in his mouth became gold.’
    • ‘There Tondal repents of his misdeeds and returns to the holy candour of a life untroubled by sin (Getty Museum, Los Angeles).’
    • ‘A partridge, indeed, with a brood of ten behind her, ran forward threateningly, but soon repented of her fierceness, and clucked to her young ones not to be afraid.’
    feel remorse for, regret, be sorry for, rue, reproach oneself for, be ashamed of, feel contrite about, wish that one had not done something
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object View or think of (an action or omission) with deep regret or remorse.
      ‘Marian came to repent her hasty judgement’
      • ‘The Space Pirates are just too ruthless to get talked into repenting their ways.’
      • ‘It is reasonable to assume that Lucrezia Scanatoria had repented her former life of sin before she died.’
      • ‘Maybe they could be shamed into repenting their sexuality.’
      • ‘On several levels Mary is unsympathetic - she doesn't repent her murder, she shuns the affection of her loved ones, and continues to obsess about her lover.’
      • ‘Osborne Hamley is bitterly estranged from his father, but when Osborne dies and the secret of his marriage is revealed, Squire Hamley, repenting his harshness, adopts Osborne's baby son.’
      • ‘For this affront, Prometheus was punished terribly by Zeus, yet he never repented his act.’
      • ‘Midas repented his wish, and Bacchus took away the gold touch, but later Midas found himself in trouble again.’
      • ‘It seems rather redundant to spend your entire life repenting it just to end up in some place for all eternity.’
      • ‘Sounds like you're repenting your new habit.’
      • ‘It must be noted that the postwar Dutch government, compared with its counterparts in other countries, has done an exemplary job of honestly documenting-and repenting of-its people's wartime collaboration.’
      • ‘While acknowledging and repenting my reporting errors, would I still choose it as one of our company's Worst Boards ever?’
      • ‘Magdalen is not only brought ‘safely through all kinds of actual and positive wrongdoing without fatal or even serious damage’ but also achieves happiness because she avows and does not repent her past life.’
      • ‘When he has once taken those steps, the wage must rise; even if the workman's share in the profit does not come to him quite as quickly; he has no occasion to repent it.’
      • ‘The only way that can happen is if all of the girls admit and repent their sins.’
      • ‘He repents his ways and gives the impoverished Cratchit a large pay increase, followed by significant donations to charity.’
      • ‘For the love of God, Allah, Yahweh and the winds willing repent your sins!’
      • ‘I had repented all my sin and I showed no more inclination for young men.’
      • ‘Judgement tympana warned the congregation to repent their sins, with graphic illustrations of sinners going to hell.’
      • ‘In 1536, Angela Greca repented her life as a courtesan and became a nun in the convent of the convertite.’
      • ‘And repenting them, according to fixed law, is the only way to pass God's test.’
    2. 1.2repent oneselfarchaic Feel regret or penitence about.
      ‘I repent me of all I did’
      • ‘Then Judas, which had betrayed Him, when he saw that He was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.’
      • ‘But it is never enough when we repent ourselves, the only way to be effectively punished is from an outside source.’
      • ‘And I stared at them, remembering how I had shivered in bed when I was okay, when I had repented myself.’
      • ‘As regards the originary genealogy, Robert laments, ‘I may be angry with my first parents for having sinned, but how I shall repent me of their sin, is beyond what I am able to comprehend’.’


Middle English: from Old French repentir, from re- (expressing intensive force) + pentir (based on Latin paenitere ‘cause to repent’).