|Origin:||Medieval Latin poenitentia, from Latin paenitere; PENITENT1|
1 [countable usually singular, uncountable]RRC
something that you must do to show that you are sorry for something you have done wrong, especially in some religions
We prayed and did penance together.
as a penance for his sins
something that you have to do but do not enjoy doing:
Working in the garden was a kind of penance.