[ uh-tohn ]
/ əˈtoʊn /
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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.
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Origin of atone
First recorded in 1545–55; back formation from atonement
OTHER WORDS FROM atone
a·ton·a·ble, a·tone·a·ble, adjectivea·ton·er, nouna·ton·ing·ly, adverbun·a·toned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use atone in a sentence
Then he assured me, that one sin unatoned for was as sufficient to damn a soul as one leak was to sink a ship.
He believed not; and, as long as it remained unatoned, it was cause for this nation to act.
It is asked of us, why admit the vessels of France, whilst injuries which she has done us are unatoned for?
A wrong unrepented of and unatoned gathers interest, instead of getting discount, from lost time.Erema|R. D. Blackmore
As such, she mourned him; nor was her grief without that keenest sting, the memory of unatoned wrong.Olive|Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)
British Dictionary definitions for atone
/ (əˈtəʊn) /
(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 forms of atoneatonable 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
Other Idioms and Phrases with atone
In agreement, in harmony, as in John and Pat were at one on every subject except her cat, which made him sneeze, or Springtime always makes me feel at one with nature. [1300s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.