atone·​ment | \ ə-ˈtōn-mənt How to pronounce atonement (audio) \

Definition of atonement

1 : reparation for an offense or injury : satisfaction a story of sin and atonement He wanted to find a way to make atonement for his sins.
2 : the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ
3 Christian Science : the exemplifying of human oneness with God
4 obsolete : reconciliation

Examples of atonement in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the early 1990s, Professor Ross accompanied Floyd Cochran, once the national spokesman for the Aryan Nations, on a national atonement tour. Jessica Bennett, New York Times, "What if Instead of Calling People Out, We Called Them In?," 19 Nov. 2020 In Black communities, the conversation about racial atonement has been ongoing for generations, but now the conversation has expanded to other communities. Otis R. Taylor Jr.,, "Thanks to Trump, U.S. no longer in denial of racism," 2 Nov. 2020 For the Houghton Library, a respectful burial of the human remains would be a long overdue act of atonement. Paul Needham, The New York Review of Books, "A Proper Burial," 5 Nov. 2020 And, historically, decision-makers in this country have ignored commissions that seek atonement. Otis R. Taylor Jr.,, "It’s beyond time to make reparations for enslaving an entire race, but commissions aren’t the answer," 29 Oct. 2020 Rabbi Schultz suggests repentance and atonement, specifically towards Joey and Rachel. Lydia Wang,, "R29 Binge Club: Netflix’s Grand Army Recaps," 19 Oct. 2020 The High Holy Days are a time of prayer, reflection, repentance and atonement. al, "High Holy Days end with Yom Kippur, including service in Birmingham Botanical Gardens," 28 Sep. 2020 This year Yom Kippur, the day of atonement in the Jewish calendar, begins at sunset on Sunday 27th September., "6 Little-Known Rules For Observing Yom Kippur," 27 Sep. 2020 Every year, businesses shut down, roads empty out and even radio and TV stations go silent as the faithful fast for 25 hours and hold intensive prayers of atonement on the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Joseph Krauss, Anchorage Daily News, "Israelis mark Yom Kippur under ‘painful’ virus lockdown," 27 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'atonement.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of atonement

1513, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for atonement

see atone

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about atonement

Time Traveler for atonement

Time Traveler

The first known use of atonement was in 1513

See more words from the same year

Statistics for atonement

Last Updated

20 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Atonement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for atonement


atone·​ment | \ ə-ˈtōn-mənt How to pronounce atonement (audio) \

Kids Definition of atonement

: a making up for an offense or injury

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on atonement

What made you want to look up atonement? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!