atone·​ment ə-ˈtōn-mənt How to pronounce atonement (audio)
: 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.
: the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ
Christian Science : the exemplifying of human oneness with God
obsolete : reconciliation

Examples of atonement in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Authorities said Johnson was pressured by Bateman to give up three of his wives as atonement because Johnson wasn't treating Bateman as a prophet. CBS News, 20 Mar. 2024 He was promised an opportunity at atonement with a scheduled start in Game 4. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2024 Germany’s atonement after the Holocaust shows a path – albeit a bumpy one – forward. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Jan. 2024 Once Wilson’s vulnerability has slowly been revealed, his ultimate atonement seems preordained, hiding behind poetic minimalism instead of attempting to reconcile it with his nasty character. J. Kim Murphy, Variety, 25 Jan. 2024 Ervil's son Aaron LeBaron took over the church, as well as Ervil's mission of blood atonement, after Ervil's death. Jessica Sager, Peoplemag, 9 Jan. 2024 Domingo locates an inarticulate longing beneath Mister’s brokenness that makes his eventual atonement both credible and moving. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Dec. 2023 One Easter week, the youth minister was explaining the theology of atonement, Mr. Lambert recalls. Harry Bruinius, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Dec. 2023 The clergy suggests a civil ceremony wedding and church blessing, with an atonement to acknowledge previous wrongdoings. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 14 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'atonement.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see atone

First Known Use

1513, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Time Traveler
The first known use of atonement was in 1513

Dictionary Entries Near atonement

Cite this Entry

“Atonement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


atone·​ment ə-ˈtōn-mənt How to pronounce atonement (audio)
: the return to a state of love and harmony between God and human beings through the death of Jesus Christ
: something that makes up for an offense or injury
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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