ex·​pi·​a·​tion | \ ˌek-spē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce expiation (audio) \

Definition of expiation

1 : the act of making atonement
2 : the means by which atonement is made

Examples of expiation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That no further expiation of the nation’s sins would be necessary. Graham Hillard, National Review, "The Other Case against Reparations," 22 July 2019 What’s more, the film goes beyond who did what into matters of intention and expiation. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Beast’ Review: In Hot Pursuit of Love and Danger," 9 May 2018 Afterward, as expiation, the pool was filled in and transformed into a Zen garden, now part of the Bloedel Reserve. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, "Fungus," 4 June 2017 For her, its conventions enabled catharsis, the expiation of fear of the unknown—as embodied by the serial killer who stalks the pages of this work whistling hymns and wrapping his dog’s leash around the necks of five women. WSJ, "Five Best: Laura Thompson," 30 Mar. 2018 After expiation, redemption—with George at our side. James Ellroy, Vanities, "James Ellroy’s Buzz M for Murder," 7 Oct. 2017 Nevertheless, support for him increasingly sounds like a ceremony of expiation and, ultimately, an act of faith. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "John McCain Walks on Water," 20 July 2017 Redemption wasn’t quite possible for Lee, but there was expiation for the actor. Christian Lorentzen, New Republic, "The spirit of wounded masculinity haunts America in 'A Ghost Story.'," 5 July 2017 Shock, investigation, self-flagellation, expiation. Marc Tracy, New York Times, "N.C.A.A. Charges Louisville’s Rick Pitino With Rules Violations in Sex Scandal OCT. 20, 2016," 20 Oct. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expiation.' 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 expiation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of expiation was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Expiation.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expiation. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with expiation

Spanish Central: Translation of expiation

Nglish: Translation of expiation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expiation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about expiation

Comments on expiation

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not to be intimidated or subdued

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