• synonyms


verb (used without object), a·toned, a·ton·ing.
  1. 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.
  2. to make up, as for errors or deficiencies (usually followed by for): to atone for one's failings.
  3. Obsolete. to become reconciled; agree.
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verb (used with object), a·toned, a·ton·ing.
  1. to make amends for; expiate: He atoned his sins.
  2. Obsolete. to bring into unity, harmony, concord, etc.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for unatoned

Historical Examples

  • There was also his remark about Marietta and kites, unatoned for as yet.

    The Squirrel-Cage

    Dorothy Canfield

  • Iahvah cannot accept them in their sin; the long drought is a token that their guilt is before His mind, unrepented, unatoned.

  • Look at your mother, and say if it is not too late to make reparation for unatoned suffering.

    London's Heart

    B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon

  • The heir of two centuries of unatoned insult and outrage looked down on him and seemed to drink in deep draughts of satisfaction.

    The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • It is asked of us, why admit the vessels of France, whilst injuries which she has done us are unatoned for?

British Dictionary definitions for unatoned


  1. (intr foll by for) to make amends or reparation (for a crime, sin, etc)
  2. (tr) to expiateto atone a guilt with repentance
  3. obsolete to be in or bring into agreement
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Derived Formsatonable or atoneable, adjectiveatoner, noun

Word Origin

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 unatoned



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper