[ uh-tohn-muh nt ]
/ əˈtoʊn mənt /


satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.
(sometimes initial capital letter) Theology. the doctrine concerning the reconciliation of God and humankind, especially as accomplished through the life, suffering, and death of Christ.
Christian Science. the experience of humankind's unity with God exemplified by Jesus Christ.
Archaic. reconciliation; agreement.

Nearby words

  1. aton,
  2. atonal,
  3. atonalism,
  4. atonality,
  5. atone,
  6. atonement, day of,
  7. atonia,
  8. atonic,
  9. atonic bladder,
  10. atonicity

Origin of atonement

1505–15; from phrase at one in harmony + -ment, as translation of Medieval Latin adūnāmentum; compare Middle English onement unity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for atonement


/ (əˈtəʊnmənt) /


satisfaction, reparation, or expiation given for an injury or wrong
(often capital) Christian theol
  1. the reconciliation of man with God through the life, sufferings, and sacrificial death of Christ
  2. the sufferings and death of Christ
Christian Science the state in which the attributes of God are exemplified in man
obsolete reconciliation or agreement

Word Origin for atonement

C16: from Middle English phrase at onement in harmony

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 atonement



1510s, "condition of being at one (with others)," from atone + -ment. Meaning "reconciliation" (especially of sinners with God) is from 1520s; that of "propitiation of an offended party" is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper