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Perhaps from atone +‎ -ment as translation of Medieval Latin adūnāmentum[1]; however, the noun is found earlier than the verb (atone); and in this light, the proper etymology is at +‎ onement.


  • IPA(key): /əˈtoʊnmənt/
  • (file)


atonement (countable and uncountable, plural atonements)

  1. Making amends to restore a damaged relationship; expiation.
    • 1711 March 20 (Gregorian calendar), [Joseph Addison; Richard Steele et al.], “FRIDAY, March 9, 1710–1711”, in The Spectator, number 8; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, [], volume I, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, →OCLC:
      When a man has been guilty of any vice, the best atonement he can make for it is, to warn others.
    • 1697-1698, John Potter, Archaeologia Graeca
      The Phocians behaved themselves with so much gallantry, that they were thought to have made a sufficient atonement for their former offense.
  2. (theology, often with capitalized initial) The reconciliation of God and mankind through the death of Jesus.
  3. (archaic) Reconciliation; restoration of friendly relations; concord.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ “Atonement”, in[1], 2017-01-02