• Penitentiary Definition & Synonyms

  1. (n.) A small building in a monastery where penitents confessed.
  2. (a.) Relating to penance, or to the rules and measures of penance.
  3. (n.) An office of the papal court which examines cases of conscience, confession, absolution from vows, etc., and delivers decisions, dispensations, etc. Its chief is a cardinal, called the Grand Penitentiary, appointed by the pope.
  4. (a.) Expressive of penitence; as, a penitentiary letter.
  5. (n.) A house of correction, in which offenders are confined for punishment, discipline, and reformation, and in which they are generally compelled to labor.
  6. (a.) Used for punishment, discipline, and reformation.
  7. (n.) An officer in some dioceses since A. D. 1215, vested with power from the bishop to absolve in cases reserved to him.
  8. (n.) That part of a church to which penitents were admitted.
  9. (n.) One who prescribes the rules and measures of penance.
  10. (n.) One who does penance.


• Penitentiaryship Definition & Synonyms

  1. (n.) The office or condition of a penitentiary of the papal court.