- 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
- (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
Word Origin for atone
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 atoner
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper