Definition of atonement in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈtəʊnm(ə)nt/


[mass noun]
1The action of making amends for a wrong or injury: he submitted his resignation as an act of atonement
More example sentences
  • Compassionate assistance cannot, of course, be a substitute for the punishment of criminal acts or atonement for wrongdoing.
  • Their pacifist constitution is both atonement for a bloody past and a defining national characteristic.
  • Yet that still does not amount to full atonement for what he did.
1.1(In religious contexts) reparation or expiation for sin: an annual ceremony of confession and atonement for sin
More example sentences
  • This is not because we have earned God's favor but simply because we belong to Christ and his sacrifice has made perfect atonement for our sin.
  • The two offerings together symbolized a community of people at peace with God because atonement for sins had been made.
  • They receive a free pardon from God for all their sins - past, present and future - through the death of Christ as an offering and atonement for sin.
reparation, compensation, recompense, payment, repayment, redress, restitution, indemnity, indemnification, expiation, penance, redemption;
formal requital
rare solatium
1.2 (the Atonement) Christian Theology The reconciliation of God and mankind through Jesus Christ.
Example sentences
  • Yet at the same time they deny the doctrine of the Trinity, of the Incarnation, of the Atonement, and of justification by faith alone.
  • The result has been some fascinating studies of such topics as sin, the Atonement, and the Incarnation.
  • Regarding the Atonement, he asked: ‘How can the guilt of one man be expiated by the death of another who is sinless - if indeed one may speak of a sinless man at all?’


Early 16th century (denoting unity or reconciliation, especially between God and man): from at one + -ment, influenced by medieval Latin adunamentum 'unity', and earlier onement from an obsolete verb one 'to unite'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: atone|ment

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