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[ek-spee-ey-shuh n] /ˌɛk spiˈeɪ ʃən/
the act of expiating.
the means by which atonement or reparation is made.
Origin of expiation
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English expiacioun < Latin expiātiōn- (stem of expiātiō) atonement, satisfaction. See expiate, -ion
Related forms
expiational, adjective
nonexpiation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for expiation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Not unto me the strength be ascribed; not unto me the wringing of the expiation!'

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • There is but one abode for the blessed, my dear mademoiselle, and one expiation for us all.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • With the old conception of law and the expiation of crime it was otherwise.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • That thing which he was minded to do would be expiation in the sight of Heaven.

  • Such a provocation as he gave me could have but one expiation.

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • His guilt must have already had its expiation in years of remorse and suffering.

    The Daltons, Volume II (of II) Charles James Lever
  • And for this wish—insensate, foolish as it was—the expiation is indeed heavy.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan Charles James Lever
  • In doing for her lay the only expiation possible for him in the world.

    Janet of the Dunes

    Harriet T. Comstock
  • This expiation, however, would be as terrible for me as for you.

British Dictionary definitions for expiation


the act, process, or a means of expiating; 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
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Word Origin and History for expiation

early 15c., via Middle French expiation or directly from Latin expiationem (nominative expiatio) "satisfaction, atonement," noun of action from past participle stem of expiare "make amends," from ex- "completely" (see ex-) + piare "propitiate, appease," from pius "faithful, loyal, devout" (see pious).

The sacrifice of expiation is that which tendeth to appease the wrath of God. [Thomas Norton, translation of Calvin's "Institutes of Christian Religion," 1561]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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