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atone

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verb \ə-ˈtōn\

Simple Definition of atone

  • : to do something good as a way to show that you are sorry about doing something bad

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of atone

atoned

atoning

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 obsolete :  reconcile

  3. 2 :  to supply satisfaction for :  expiate

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to make amends <atone for sins>

Did You Know?

Atone comes to us from the combination in Middle English of at and on, the latter of which is an old variant of one. Together they meant "in harmony." (In current English, we use at one with a similar suggestion of harmony in such phrases as "at one with nature.") When it first entered English, atone meant "to reconcile and suggested the restoration of a peaceful and harmonious state between people or groups." These days the verb specifically implies addressing the damage (or disharmony) caused by one's own behavior.

Origin and Etymology of atone

Middle English, to become reconciled, from at on in harmony, from at + on one


First Known Use: 1574


ATONE Defined for Kids

atone

play
verb \ə-ˈtōn\

Definition of atone for Students

atoned

atoning

  1. :  to do something to make up for a wrong <… her grandmother watched over her with untiring devotion, as if trying to atone for some past mistake … — Louisa May Alcott, Little Women>




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