[ uh-tohn-muhnt ]
See synonyms for atonement on
  1. satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.

  2. (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.

  1. Christian Science. the experience of humankind's unity with God exemplified by Jesus Christ.

  2. Archaic. reconciliation; agreement.

Origin of atonement

First recorded in 1505–15; from phrase at one, at oon “in harmony” + -ment, as translation of Medieval Latin adūnāmentum; compare Middle English onement “unity”

Words Nearby atonement Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use atonement in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for atonement


/ (əˈtəʊnmənt) /

  1. satisfaction, reparation, or expiation given for an injury or wrong

  2. (often capital) Christian theol

    • the reconciliation of man with God through the life, sufferings, and sacrificial death of Christ

    • the sufferings and death of Christ

  1. Christian Science the state in which the attributes of God are exemplified in man

  2. obsolete reconciliation or agreement

Origin of 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