- 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
Examples from the Web for atoning
In shul this week on Yom Kippur, however, I'd rather focus on the atoning I need to do myself.A Day For Politics Or Not
September 24, 2012
In his reticence he had the sense of atoning not only to the apparition but to Miss Hernshaw too.Questionable Shapes
William Dean Howells
Where then the cherished hope of one day atoning for his wrongs to those who loved him!A Dish Of Orts
In his silent hours of remorse he had cherished it as one atoning circumstance.The Shadow of a Crime
He himself was not eating, for was he not atoning for his sins?Debts of Honor
Then, too, His atoning work on the cross has no meaning for us.The Work Of Christ
A. C. Gaebelein
- (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
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 atoning
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper