atone

[uh-tohn]
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verb (used without object), a·toned, a·ton·ing.

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.

verb (used with object), a·toned, a·ton·ing.

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
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for atones

Contemporary Examples of atones

Historical Examples of atones

  • And one which atones for its folly in assisting people into the world by its efficacy in assisting them out of it again.

    The Prude's Progress

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • The good American is, as a rule, pretty hard upon roguery, but he atones for his austerity by an amiable toleration of rogues.

  • And in that holy moment I saw into the inner heaven of woman's love, which purifies and atones for the world.

  • It also atones for sins, and lessens the purgatorial period after death; this is another.

  • If He atones for the sin of mankind, He can be then the restorer;—the one is as much part of His character as the other.

    Jesus Fulfils the Law

    One of the Society of Friends



British Dictionary definitions for atones

atone

verb

(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
Derived Formsatonable or atoneable, adjectiveatoner, noun

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 atones

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