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From Latin piaculariter (by way of atonement; sinfully), piacularius (atoning, expiatory) from piaculo (I appease or propitiate with an offering). See pius (dutiful)


piacularity (usually uncountable, plural piacularities)

  1. The quality of being piacular, of requiring atonement.
    • 1849, Thomas De Quincey "The Theban Sphinx", page 141, The Collected Writings of Thomas De Quincey, volume 6, edited by David Masson, published 1890, by A. & C. Black
      [I]t illustrates a profound but obscure idea of pagan ages, which is connected with the elementary glimpses of man into the abysses of his higher relations, and lurks mysteriously amongst what Milton so finely calls "the dark foundations" of our human nature. This notion, it is hard to express in modern phrase, for we have no idea exactly corresponding to it; but in Latin it was called piacularity.
    • 1978, JBSP: The Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology[1]:
      Adam Smith also dwells on the closely related phenomenon of piacularity; a man who has unintentionally brought about the death or serious injury of another man will feel 'piacular', and spend the rest of his life trying to make up for it []

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