- The definition of atone is to make good on a past wrongdoing.
Contacting a past romantic partner and apologizing for cheating is an example of atone.
intransitive verbatoned, atoning
- to make amends or reparation (for a wrongdoing, a wrongdoer, etc.)
- Obsolete to be in agreement
Origin of atoneMiddle English at-onen, become reconciled ; from at one, in accord: see at and amp; one
- to make amends for; expiate
- to bring into agreement; reconcile
verba·toned, a·ton·ing, a·tones
- To make amends, as for a sin or fault: These crimes must be atoned for.
- Archaic To agree.
- To expiate.
- Archaic To conciliate; appease: “So heaven, atoned, shall dying Greece restore” (Alexander Pope).
- Obsolete To reconcile or harmonize.
Origin of atoneMiddle English atonen, to be reconciled, from at one, in agreement : at, at; see at + one, one; see one.
- a·ton′a·ble, a·tone′a·ble
(third-person singular simple present atones, present participle atoning, simple past and past participle atoned)