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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce contrite (audio)

Dictionary definition of contrite

Feeling or expressing remorse, guilt or regret for having done something wrong.
"The thief seemed contrite when facing the consequences of his actions in court."

Detailed meaning of contrite

It is a state of being remorseful, penitent, or regretful for one's actions or words, and showing remorse or regret through one's attitude or behavior. Contrite individuals acknowledge their wrongdoings, take responsibility for them, and express remorse. They are ready to make amends and to atone for their actions. Contrite individuals often have a sense of guilt or shame for what they have done and they are remorseful for their actions.

In everyday language, the term contrite is often used to describe a person who is remorseful or regretful for something they have done. It is a state of being remorseful, penitent, or regretful for one's actions or words, and showing remorse or regret through one's attitude or behavior. It can also be used in religious context where contrition refers to a sincere remorse or repentance for sins.

In general, contrite refers to a feeling of remorse or regret for having done something wrong, it is a state of being remorseful, penitent, or regretful for one's actions or words, and showing remorse or regret through one's attitude or behavior. It implies a sense of guilt or shame, and a willingness to make amends and to atone for one's actions.

Example sentences containing contrite

1. She wore a contrite expression, her eyes filled with remorse, as she realized the gravity of her mistake.
2. After causing the accident, he felt genuinely contrite, knowing he had endangered others' lives.
3. His contrite and heartfelt apology touched everyone in the room, showing his deep regret for his hurtful words.
4. The contrite student, burdened by guilt, confessed the plagiarism to the professor, hoping for a chance at redemption.
5. With a contrite heart, he visited the gravesite, seeking forgiveness for not being there when his friend needed him most.
6. She spoke with a contrite tone, acknowledging her role in the misunderstanding and expressing her desire to make amends.

History and etymology of contrite

The adjective 'contrite' traces its etymology to the Latin word 'contritus,' which is the past participle of 'conterere,' meaning 'to grind' or 'to crush.' This Latin term metaphorically signifies the emotional state of being crushed or ground down by a sense of guilt, remorse, or regret. Thus, 'contrite' describes a profound feeling or expression of remorse and sorrow for having done something wrong. The etymology of 'contrite' conveys the image of a heavy burden on one's conscience, emphasizing the deep and genuine nature of the remorse felt by an individual who recognizes their wrongdoing and seeks forgiveness or redemption.

Quiz: Find the meaning of contrite

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Further usage examples of contrite

1. The contrite employee acknowledged his error, promising to rectify the situation and learn from his mistakes.
2. As the contrite politician addressed the public, he admitted his wrongdoings and vowed to rebuild trust through transparency.
3. The contrite thief, haunted by guilt, decided to return the stolen artifacts, hoping to undo the damage caused.
4. Their contrite faces reflected the remorse they felt for their actions, and they vowed to never repeat the same mistakes.
5. Even though it took time, he finally found the courage to face his contrite past and seek forgiveness from those he had wronged.
6. He appeared contrite after realizing the impact of his words on his friend.
7. The contrite student apologized for his tardiness to the teacher.
8. Her contrite confession about her mistake earned her forgiveness from her supervisor.
9. After breaking the vase, he felt contrite and offered to replace it.
10. The contrite athlete took full responsibility for his team's loss.
11. The contrite customer was given a refund after complaining about the defective product.
12. She was contrite about missing her friend's important event.
13. His contrite tone during the apology showed genuine remorse.
14. The contrite child promised not to misbehave again.
15. The contrite employee promised to work diligently to make up for his mistakes.
16. Her contrite letter expressed deep regret for the misunderstanding.
17. The contrite driver admitted fault and exchanged insurance information.
18. The contrite student volunteered to help clean up the classroom after making a mess.
19. The contrite chef offered a complimentary dessert to make amends for the overcooked steak.
20. Despite her contrite attitude, rebuilding trust would take time.
21. The contrite traveler reimbursed the hotel for the accidental damage.
22. The contrite politician publicly apologized for the scandal.
23. The contrite musician apologized to the audience for the technical difficulties.
24. The contrite actor admitted his mistake and promised to improve his performance.



repentant, unrepentant, defiant, remorseless


SAT 19 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Discipline and Control, Expressions Of Emotion

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