• synonyms


[ek-spee-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
See more synonyms for expiatory on Thesaurus.com
  1. able to make atonement or expiation; offered by way of expiation: expiatory sacrifices.
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Origin of expiatory

1540–50; < Late Latin expiātōrius, equivalent to expiā(re) (see expiate) + -tōrius -tory1
Related formsnon·ex·pi·a·to·ry, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for expiatory

propitiatory, conciliatory, lustral, purgatorial, conciliative, expiable

Examples from the Web for expiatory

Historical Examples of expiatory

  • We must offer an expiatory sacrifice to Oromasis, for, awful thought!

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • This practice—save the expiatory offerings—was adopted by the Christians.

    Pagan and Christian Rome

    Rodolfo Lanciani

  • Remorse goaded me to desperation,—desperation prompted the expiatory vow.

    Ernest Linwood

    Caroline Lee Hentz

  • It would be an infringement of the sacredness of his expiatory vow.

    Ernest Linwood

    Caroline Lee Hentz

  • For this fatal error he offered his own blood as an expiatory sacrifice.

British Dictionary definitions for expiatory


  1. capable of making expiation
  2. given or offered in expiation
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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 expiatory


1540s, from Latin expiatorius, from expiatus, past participle of expiare (see expiation).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper