Etymology
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penitential (adj.)

early 15c., penitencial, "done as penance," from Old French penitencial and directly from Medieval Latin penitentialis "pertaining to penance," from Latin paenitentia "repentance" (see penitence).

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Definitions of penitential

penitential (adj.)
showing or constituting penance;
wrote a penitential letter apologizing for her hasty words
penitential tears
Synonyms: penitentiary
From wordnet.princeton.edu