- to make amends or reparation, as for an offense or a crime, or for an offender (usually followed by for): to atone for one's sins.
- to make up, as for errors or deficiencies (usually followed by for): to atone for one's failings.
- Obsolete. to become reconciled; agree.
- to make amends for; expiate: He atoned his sins.
- Obsolete. to bring into unity, harmony, concord, etc.
Origin of atone
First recorded in 1545–55; back formation from atonement
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for atones
Ganz: This is where everyone makes their decisions and atones with their fathers.‘Community’: Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, Gillian Jacobs & Megan Ganz Roundtable
February 28, 2012
Its variety and symmetry.painters, and see if it atones for the deficiencies of the stems.Modern Painters Volume I (of V)
The service you have done in discovering this atones for your fault.The Vintage
Edward Frederic Benson
The weaker party, if it be wise, atones for its weakness by entrenchments.The Great Boer War
Arthur Conan Doyle
But Fielding more than atones for all the rest by the creation of Parson Adams.The Gentle Reader
Samuel McChord Crothers
If he enjoys a kind farewell overnight, he atones for it by the coldest greeting in the morning.Stray Studies from England and Italy
John Richard Greene
- (intr foll by for) to make amends or reparation (for a crime, sin, etc)
- (tr) to expiateto atone a guilt with repentance
- obsolete to be in or bring into agreement
C16: back formation from atonement
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for atones
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper