Meaning of expiation


The act of expiation is a way to atone for something you did that was wrong. It was originally used in a religious context, with expiation the way a person could gain forgiveness from a god.

If you’ve ever tried to make up for something you did wrong, then you understand the notion of expiation. The idea of atonement stretches across all religions, from Judaism’s Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) to perhaps the most famous example of expiation, the Christian doctrine of Christ dying to absolve the world’s sins. You definitely don’t need to be religious to seek expiation. People who commit crimes and even make small mistakes seek expiation every day.

Definitions of expiation
  1. noun

    compensation for a wrong


    atonement, satisfaction

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    type of:

    amends, damages, indemnification, indemnity, redress, restitution

    a sum of money paid in compensation for loss or injury

  2. noun

    the act of atoning for sin or wrongdoing (especially appeasing a deity)


    atonement, propitiation

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    amends, reparation

    something done or paid in expiation of a wrong
    type of:

    redemption, salvation

    (theology) the act of delivering from sin or saving from evil

Word Family

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