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 Back The mention of the tremendous loss still stings my family generations later, and my community has been demanding atonement for 98 years. Nehemiah D. Frank, Time, "Researchers Have Found Evidence of Mass Graves From the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Here's Why That News Is Bittersweet for My Community," 18 Dec. 2019 In 2015, Portugal and Spain passed law entitling such descendants to become citizens as atonement for past persecution. Cnaan Liphshiz,, "Tiny Portuguese Jewish community makes a $1.2 million feature film about its history," 19 Nov. 2019 Eight years later, as a further act of atonement, Goldsmith began work on this book. David J. Garrow, Washington Post, "An ambitious lawyer, a stepfather with mob ties and the death of Jimmy Hoffa," 14 Nov. 2019 That’s at the heart of one of her signature proposals: that the U.S. government pay massive financial reparations to its black citizens as atonement for centuries of slavery and discrimination. Washington Post, "Far from debate spotlight, Williamson keeps campaigning," 14 Sep. 2019 The congregation is seeking atonement for the history of their church, whose first rector, Charles Ridgely Howard, was part of this slave-owning family. Jonathan Pitts,, "In slavery, her family was owned by his. Now they attend a Baltimore church seeking to atone for its past.," 12 Sep. 2019 The national church and its local branch have established truth and reconciliation commissions around the subject of atonement, modeling their work after a restorative justice body assembled in South Africa in 2000 after the end of apartheid. Jonathan Pitts,, "In slavery, her family was owned by his. Now they attend a Baltimore church seeking to atone for its past.," 12 Sep. 2019 There may be some feeling of atonement [for Alibek]. Brian Albrecht,, "Scientist who supervised Soviet biological weapons production now develops products to help people," 8 Sep. 2019 In many ways, it can be seen as an act of atonement for the company’s attention-optimization strategy, as well as its now-defunct Trending Topics product. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "Facebook Wants You to Focus on the Humans," 22 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of atonement

1513, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for atonement

see atone

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Time Traveler for atonement

Time Traveler

The first known use of atonement was in 1513

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Statistics for atonement

Last Updated

27 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Atonement.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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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

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Comments on atonement

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