"broken in spirit by a sense of guilt, conscience-stricken and resolved to not sin again," c. 1300, from Old French contrit (12c.) and directly from Latin contritus, literally "worn out, ground to pieces," in Late Latin "penitent," past participle of conterere "to grind," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + terere "to rub" (from PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, turn").
Used in Church Latin in a figurative sense of "crushed in spirit by a sense of sin." Related: Contritely.
c. 1300, contrycyun, contricioun, "brokenness of spirit for having given offense, deep sorrow for sin or guilt with the purpose of not sinning again," from Old French contriciun "contrition, remorse;
a break, breach" (Modern French contrition) and directly from Late Latin contritionem (nominative contritio) "grief, contrition," noun of action from past-participle stem of conterere, literally "to grind" (see contrite). The modern sense is a figurative use in Christianity. The word was sometimes used in Middle English in the literal Latin sense "a crushing" (mid-14c.).