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Word of the Day
Saturday, September 30, 2017

Definitions for atonement

  1. satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.
  2. (sometimes initial capital letter) Theology. the doctrine concerning the reconciliation of God and humankind, especially as accomplished through the life, suffering, and death of Christ.
  3. Christian Science. the experience of humankind's unity with God exemplified by Jesus Christ.

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Citations for atonement
If we do now make our atonement well, / Our peace will, like a broken limb united, / Grow stronger for the breaking. William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, 1623
Atonement takes as many forms as wishful thinking, and last February I signed up for a three-day retreat at We Care, a holistic fasting spa in Desert Hot Springs, California, that is popular with celebrities. Judith Thurman, "The Fast Lane," The New Yorker, September 3, 2007
Origin of atonement
The noun atonement derives from the verb atone “to reconcile, appease,” which dates from the 16th century and derives from the Middle English (15th century) adverbial phrase atone, at on, at oon “in harmony.” Atone, atonement, alone, and only preserve the original long “o” (oʊn, etc.) that is implied in the spelling. One and once, which preserve the etymological spelling, are now pronounced wʌn and wʌns. The gradual change of pronunciation of one and once from oʊn and oʊns to wʌn and wʌns began in Wales and the west and southwest of England about 1400 and became universal by the 18th century. Atonement entered English in the 16th century.
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