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atone

[uh-tohn]
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verb (used without object), a·toned, a·ton·ing.
  1. 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.
  2. to make up, as for errors or deficiencies (usually followed by for): to atone for one's failings.
  3. Obsolete. to become reconciled; agree.
verb (used with object), a·toned, a·ton·ing.
  1. to make amends for; expiate: He atoned his sins.
  2. Obsolete. to bring into unity, harmony, concord, etc.

Origin of atone

First recorded in 1545–55; back formation from atonement
Related formsa·ton·a·ble, a·tone·a·ble, adjectivea·ton·er, nouna·ton·ing·ly, adverbun·a·toned, adjectiveun·a·ton·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for atoning

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In his reticence he had the sense of atoning not only to the apparition but to Miss Hernshaw too.

    Questionable Shapes

    William Dean Howells

  • Where then the cherished hope of one day atoning for his wrongs to those who loved him!

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • In his silent hours of remorse he had cherished it as one atoning circumstance.

  • He himself was not eating, for was he not atoning for his sins?

    Debts of Honor

    Maurus Jkai

  • Then, too, His atoning work on the cross has no meaning for us.

    The Work Of Christ

    A. C. Gaebelein


British Dictionary definitions for atoning

atone

verb
  1. (intr foll by for) to make amends or reparation (for a crime, sin, etc)
  2. (tr) to expiateto atone a guilt with repentance
  3. obsolete to be in or bring into agreement
Derived Formsatonable or atoneable, adjectiveatoner, noun

Word Origin

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 atoning

atone

v.

1550s, from adverbial phrase atonen (c.1300) "in accord," literally "at one," a contraction of at and one. It retains the older pronunciation of one. The phrase perhaps is modeled on Latin adunare "unite," from ad- "to, at" (see ad-) + unum "one." Related: Atoned; atoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper