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Wednesday, 13 February 2013


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Your word for today is: repent, v.

[‘intr. To review one's actions and feel contrition or regret for something one has done or omitted to do; (esp. in religious contexts) to acknowledge the sinfulness of one's past action or conduct by showing sincere remorse and undertaking to reform in the future. Formerly also in weakened sense: †to change one's mind (obs.). Freq. with of; occas. with forat, †on.’]

Pronunciation: Brit. /rᵻˈpɛnt/,  U.S. /rəˈpɛnt/, /riˈpɛnt/
Forms:    ME repenti south.,   ME repenty south.,   ME repentye south.,   ME–15 repente,   ME– repent,   15–16 repent past participle;   Sc.  pre-17 rapent,   pre-17 reapent,   pre-17 repente,   pre-17 repentt,   pre-17 17– repent.   Also past tense  ME rependyd perh. transmission error,   lME repent,   lME repente,   lME repenyd transmission error. 
Etymology: <  Anglo-Norman repenter, Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French repentir (French repentir; now only in reflexive use) (reflexive) to renounce (something) or cease (to do something) (c1100), (reflexive) to feel contrition or regret for an action, fault, or sin (c1100 with reference to an action or fault, 1119 in religious context with reference to sin; sometimes also in intransitive and transitive use), (reflexive) to change one's mind (1283) <  post-classical Latin repoenitere (9th cent) <  classical Latin re- re- prefix + paenitēre (seepenitent adj.). Compare Old Occitan repentir (c1220), Spanish †repentirse (1207; now arrepentirse (a1251)), Portuguese †repender (13th cent. as rrepender; now arrepender (1344)), Italian ripentirsi (early 13th cent.). Compare earlier repentant adj.
 a.  intr. To review one's actions and feel contrition or regret for something one has done or omitted to do; (esp. in religious contexts) to acknowledge the sinfulness of one's past action or conduct by showing sincere remorse and undertaking to reform in the future. Formerly also in weakened sense: †to change one's mind (obs.). Freq. with of; occas. with forat, †on.
c1300 St. Brendan (Harl.) 104 in  C. Horstmann Early S.-Eng. Legendary (1887) 222 Ȝoure on schal atta ende Repenti er he come aȝe, & al quic to helle wende.
a1325 St. Wulfstan (Corpus Cambr.) 151 in  C. D'Evelyn  & A. J. Mill S. Eng. Legendary (1956) 13 Hy repentede of hore dede.
a1387  J. Trevisa tr. R. Higden Polychron. (St. John's Cambr.) (1879) VII. 437 At þe laste he repented [L. ad cor rediens] and resigned up þe riȝt of holy cherche frely to pope Kalixte.
c1405 (1395)  Chaucer Merchant's Tale (Hengwrt) (2003) l. 419 Er ye haue your right of holy cherche Ye may repente of wedded mannes lyf.
a1425 (1395) Bible (Wycliffite, L.V.) (Royal) (1850) Matt. xxvii. 3 Judas..repentide [c1384 E.V. led by penaunce or forthenkynge; L. poenitentia ductus], and brouȝte aȝen the thretti pans to the princis of prestis.
a1475 (1450)  S. Scrope tr. Dicts & Sayings Philosophers (Bodl. 943) (1999) 58 Þe deede & þe ende of hastines is to repente.
1526  W. Bonde Pylgrimage of Perfection i. sig. Diiii, Whan so euer any synner repenteth, and is sory for his offences towarde god.
1535 Bible (Coverdale) Jonah iii. 10 He repented on the euell, which he sayde he wolde do vnto them, and dyd it not.
1598  Shakespeare Henry IV, Pt. 1 iii. iii. 4 Well, ile repent and that suddainly.
1650  T. Vaughan Anthroposophia Theomagica 60 This middlemost mansion is appointed for such Soules whose whole man hath not perfectly repent in this world.
1667  M. Poole Dialogue between Popish Priest & Protestant 10 A thousand of their sins are venial, which, though not repented of, will not exclude them from the favour of God.
1719  D Defoe Farther Adventures Robinson Crusoe 163 None teach Repentance like true Penitents: He wants nothing but to repent.
1769  ‘Junius’ Stat Nominis Umbra (1772) I. xii. 77 A scene, in which a mind like yours will find nothing to repent of.
1797  A. Radcliffe Italian II. i. 23 If your purpose is evil, pause a moment, and repent.
1818  S. Parr Wks. (1828) VIII. 640, I repent not at the gift.
1859  Tennyson Guinevere 169 No light had we: for that we do repent.
1875  B. Jowett tr. Plato Dialogues (ed. 2) I. 372 Nor do I now repent of the manner of my defence.
1908  E. M. Forster Room with View 26 You will never repent of a little civility to your inferiors.
1951  G. Heyer Quiet Gentleman xvi. 246 No head, Ger! no head at all! Might even have repented of it as soon as he'd pulled the trigger.
1989  S. Bedford Jigsaw iv. 243 Even my ex-Church regards it as an absolvable sin if you repent.
2005  J. Weyland Saving Kristen viii. 125 Then I think you should take the sacrament. That is what it's for—to help us repent of our mistakes.
 b.  trans. With the action, fault, or sin as object.
a1325 Septuagesima (Corpus Cambr.) l. 12 in  C. D'Evelyn  & A. J. Mill S. Eng. Legendary (1956) 128 We ssolleþ wiþ sorwe of heorte oure penance lede And aȝen þe time of Leinte repenty oure misdede.
a1400 (1325) Cursor Mundi (Trin. Cambr.) l. 5107 Oure mis dede we repente ay.
c1475  tr. A. Chartier Quadrilogue (Univ. Oxf.) 235 Yf stories ben profitable to repent this pride, rede we Titu Liuius.
c1500 (1475) Assembly of Gods (1896) 418 that gret wrethe out of the paleyce went, Seying to herself that chere shuld þey repent.
c1537  T. Cranmer Let. in Remains (1833) I. 207 Both you and I may repent our dallying.
1579  W. Fulke Heskins Parl Repealed in D. Heskins Ouerthrowne 511 To him that intendeth to repent those thinges wherein he hath offended.
1611  W. Sclater Key to Key of Script. 165 If the thing couenanted be lawfull, rashnesse must be repented: but the promise performed.
1697  Dryden tr. Virgil Georgics iv, in  tr. Virgil Wks. 146 The soft Napæan Race will soon repent Their Anger, and remit the Punishment.
1771  O. Goldsmith Hist. Eng. IV. 95 He declared..they should one day repent their insolence and presumption.
1807  R. Southey Lett. from Eng. II. 53 For a few minutes I repented my temerity.
1849  Macaulay Hist. Eng. (ed. 3) II. vii. 187 William declared..that he would make the most Christian king repent the outrage
1901  F. E. Fremantle Impressions Doctor in Khaki v. 272 The Chronicler..says that Manasseh bitterly repented his sin during his captivity at Babylon.
1967  ‘iceberg slim’ Pimp xx. 282 She was bugging me to embrace the Holy Ghost and the Fire. She begged me to square up and repent my sins.
1985  A. Kenny Path from Rome i. 29 A voluntary dwelling on a sexual fantasy put one in danger of Hell if not promptly repented and confessed.
2008 London Lite (Nexis) 5 June 15 Perhaps she said 10 Hail Marys and repented her sins for flying British Airways.
 2.  trans.
 a.  refl. To feel contrition or regret for an action, fault, or sin. Formerly also in weakened sense: †to change one's mind (obs.). Also with offorthat. Now (only with objective personal pronoun) arch.
c1300 St. Edward Elder (Laud) 173 in  C. Horstmann Early S.-Eng. Legendary (1887) 52 Of hire misdedes heo repentede hire sore.
c1350 (1333)  William of Shoreham Poems (1902) 39 For so may man repenti hym, Þat þer uolȝeþ no peyne.
a1400 (1325) Cursor Mundi (Vesp.) 7308 Ful sare yee sal repent yow.
a1438 Bk. Margery Kempe i. 57 He repentyd hym þat he had not don aftyr hir cownsel.
1484  Caxton tr. Subtyl Historyes & Fables Esope i. xv, They that be glad..of the praysynge of flaterers oftyme repente them therof.
a1500 (1425)  tr. Secreta Secret. (Lamb.) 63 Repent þe noght of þinges passyd, for þat ys a propirte to feble women.
a1533  Ld. Berners tr. Bk. Duke Huon of Burdeux (1882–7) xxiii. 68, I repent me that I hadde not beleuyd you.
1597  Shakespeare Richard III i. iv. 273, I repent me that the Duke is slaine.
1619  Visct. Doncaster Let. in  S. R. Gardiner Lett. Relations Eng. & Germany (1865) 1st Ser. 207, I now repent me of it, hearing the niewes of Moravia confirmed from all parts.
1682  J. Bunyan Holy War 187, I formerly was a great companion of his, (for the which I now repent me).
1709  W. King Misc. 534 Looking round him saw a handsom Room, And did not much repent him he was come.
1767  B. Thornton tr. Plautus Amphitryon iii. ii, in  B. Thornton et al.  tr. Plautus Comedies II. 81 He repents him it had e'er been said, What he alledg'd against me innocent.
1842  Tennyson Edward Gray in Poems II. 180, I repent me of all I did.
1881  A. C. Swinburne Mary Stuart ii. ii. 79, I am glad, and I repent me not, to know I have the writing in my bosom sealed.
1954  F. T. Prince Coll. Poems (1993) 72 Yet I do not repent me; I remain in my pain that is.
1988  S Rushdie Satanic Verses vii. ii. 420 The matrons stated their conviction that Mr Battuta had honestly repented him of his error.
 b.  impers. To cause (a person) to feel contrition or regret for an action, fault, or sin Chiefly with it as subject. Now rare.
a1393  Gower Confessio Amantis (Fairf.) vii. 5328 That was more for likinge, To have his lust, than for weddinge..Which him repenteth ate laste.
c1440 (1400) Morte Arthure 1392 It sall repent vs full sore and we ryde forthire.
1485 Malory's Morte Darthur (Caxton) vii. viii. sig. m.viivMe repenteth grene knyghte of your dommage.
a1500 (1400) Ipomedon (Chetham) (1889) 896 Countenaunce of love she wolde non make..And that repent her syth full ille.
1560  J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. cxlvij, It shall not repent them of yt seruice.
1606  G. W. tr. Justinus Hist. xxxviii. 123 It repented him that he let go Demetrius.
1664  A. Marvell Corr. in Wks. (1875) II. 148 This indeed would repent me, for the World will take more notice of it.
1717 Entertainers No. 11. 72 It can never repent us to endeavour to tread in the Steps of those bright Examples.
1795  C. Anstey Monopolist 9 Soon it did repent Him sore He'd issued such a Warrant.
1820  Shelley Prometheus Unbound i. i. 34 It doth repent me: words are quick and vain.
1878  A. C. Swinburne Triumph of Time xxi, Will it not one day in heaven repent you?
1907  J. Davidson Triumph of Mammon v. ii. 137 You are now delivered up, Unless it shall repent you, to be quenched As fire is quenched in water.
c.  In pass. To be filled with contrition or regret for an action, fault, or sin. Obs.
?c1450  tr. Bk. Knight of La Tour Landry (1906) 71 They that be confession are clensed and repented.shulde not loke bakwarde ayenne to do synne.
1530 Thorpe's Examinacion 109, I say to thee, that in the turning about of thy hand such a sinner may be verily repented.
1579  G. Fenton tr. F. Guicciardini Hist. Guicciardin ix. 513 [He] ended his life within fiftene dayes, expressing deuoutly somewhat affore his death, how greatly he was repented and remorsed of the vexations he had done to the Church.
 3.  trans. To view or think of (any action, occasion, or thing) with dissatisfaction and regret, esp. because of unwelcome consequences for oneself; to be sorry for, regret. Formerly also with that-clause as object.
c1380 Sir Ferumbras (1879) 261 Þan he by-gan repentye sare þat he haþ greued his Eem.
?a1400 (1338)  R. Mannyng Chron. (Petyt 511) ii. 256 Do ȝit be..consaile, þou salle not it repent [Fr. ne averez repentaunce].
1465  J. Paston in Paston Lett. & Papers (2004) I. 137 For that or for some other cause he repentyth his bargeyn and woll nomore of it.
a1500 (1400) Sir Cleges (Adv.) (1930) 434, I repent my grauntetynge That i to þe made.
1542  N. Udall tr. Erasmus Apophthegmes f. 297vYet do I nothyng repente my first aduise & counsaill.
1600  Shakespeare Midsummer Night's Dream ii. ii. 117 Content with Hermia? No: I doe repent The tedious minutes, I with her haue spent.
1617  F. Moryson Itinerary i. 179, I could hardly keepe him from falling down most steepe mountaines..which made me repent the buying of him.
1640  W. Habington Hist. Edward IV 108 They would sell their lives at so deere a rate, that the King might repent his purchase.
1665  in  B. Cusack Everyday Eng. 1500–1700 (1998) 151 My ffather shod say and haue cas to repent that he did drive them vp.
1716  Lady M. W. Montagu Let. 14 Sept. (1965) I. 262, I was so much pleas'd with it, I have not yet repented my seeing it.
1760  G. Washington Diary 7 Mar. (1976) I. 251 The Ground being well sworded over & very heavy plowing I repented putting them [sc. horses] in at all.
1805  T. Harral Scenes of Life I. 49 The landlord began to repent his kindness.
1885  J. Runciman Skippers & Shellbacks 238 Bitterly repented having come out with nothing but his water-ballast.
1912  W. S. Gilbert Sensation Novel I. 11 Unhand me, coward, or my shrieks shall bring those around you who will make you repent the day you laid a hand on old John Grey's daughter.
1914  G. K. Chesterton Wisdom of Father Brown (1992) 184 He began to repent the coat he had left behind him.
1989  I. Taylor George Eliot (1990) ix. 103 Marian came to repent her hasty judgement based on outward appearances.
2001  A. S. Park in  A. S. Park  & A L. Nelson Other Side Sin ii. 49 David repented his sin and was forgiven.
 a.  intr. To mourn. Obs. rare—1.
1590  Spenser Faerie Queene iii. viii. sig. Kk8, Dead..thou maist aread Henceforth for euer Florimell to bee, That all the noble knights..May sore repent with mee.
 b.  trans. To mourn (a death). Obs.
1631  J. Weever Anc. Funerall Monuments 33 Whose death..all the world repented.
1662  Duchess of Newcastle Orations Divers Sorts ii. 45 An Oration to Souldiers, which repent the Death of their General.
5.  trans. With out. To live the rest of one's life feeling deep regret for one's actions. Obs. rare—1.
a1616  Shakespeare All's Well that ends Well (1623) iv. iii. 247 My offences being many, I would repent out the remainder of Nature.

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