[ek-spee-ey-shuh n]


the act of expiating.
the means by which atonement or reparation is made.

Origin of expiation

1375–1425; late Middle English expiacioun < Latin expiātiōn- (stem of expiātiō) atonement, satisfaction. See expiate, -ion
Related formsex·pi·a·tion·al, adjectivenon·ex·pi·a·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for expiation

Contemporary Examples of expiation

Historical Examples of expiation

  • Not unto me the strength be ascribed; not unto me the wringing of the expiation!'

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • There is but one abode for the blessed, my dear mademoiselle, and one expiation for us all.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • With the old conception of law and the expiation of crime it was otherwise.

  • That thing which he was minded to do would be expiation in the sight of Heaven.

  • Such a provocation as he gave me could have but one expiation.

    A Day's Ride

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for expiation



the act, process, or a means of expiating; 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 expiation

early 15c., via Middle French expiation or directly from Latin expiationem (nominative expiatio) "satisfaction, atonement," noun of action from past participle stem of expiare "make amends," from ex- "completely" (see ex-) + piare "propitiate, appease," from pius "faithful, loyal, devout" (see pious).

The sacrifice of expiation is that which tendeth to appease the wrath of God. [Thomas Norton, translation of Calvin's "Institutes of Christian Religion," 1561]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper