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.
A tribunal in the Curia Romana, presided over by a cardinal, having jurisdiction over certain matters, as penance, confession, dispensation, absolution, and impedimens, and dealing with questions of conscience reserved for the Holy See. [ 29
A house of correction, in which offenders are confined for punishment, discipline, and reformation, and in which they are generally compelled to labor; a prison; a jail. Colloquially often shortened to pen.
To dream of a penitentiary, denotes you will have engagements which will, unfortunately, result in your loss. To be an inmate of one, foretells discontent in the home and failing business. To escape from one, you will overcome difficult obstacles.