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 divinity school we were taught various theories of Jesus’ atonement and why he was sent to die for our sins., "Piel: ‘Did Jesus Have to Die?’ | RELIGION COMMENTARY," 23 Apr. 2021 It’s about justice and fairness, and taking a first step on the road to atonement. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Retire the phrase “cancel culture” and focus on what really matters, accountability," 23 Feb. 2021 Later, members may perform proxy baptisms for their dead ancestors, an experience that can point to the Savior and his atonement. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Latest from LDS General Conference: Apostle denounces cyberbullying, attacks on people of color," 3 Apr. 2021 His atonement is jolted when his estranged pregnant 16-year-old daughter, Angel, shows up on his doorstep, cracking jokes. Hamilton Cain Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Review: 'The Five Wounds,' by Kirstin Valdez Quade," 2 Apr. 2021 Instead the money should be used for helping people as atonement for all the lives that were taken., "Community News For The Windsor Edition," 5 Mar. 2021 So was his effort, in part, a gesture of atonement for the failings of his predecessors? Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times, "How a picture in a newspaper unlocked childhood mysteries for two Holocaust survivors," 5 Mar. 2021 There is repentance, there is atonement, and there is forgiveness. Eoin O'carroll, The Christian Science Monitor, "Is the future real? The philosopher’s guide to time travel.," 15 Mar. 2021 This is a sensitive but dreary novel of valediction that pursues atonement without any apparent belief that such a thing is possible. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: ‘The Committed’ Review," 5 Mar. 2021

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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Atonement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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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