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atone (verb) act in a way to show your repentance of a sin.
When, after committing a sin, if a person is filled with a feeling of guilt, and does something to show that they are sorry for it, they atone for their sin. If, after committing a murder, a person, overcome by a feeling of having sinned, spends the rest of his life in devout prayer and repentance, they atone for their sin.
- Though he was never punished for any of his crimes, he was sorry for committing them, and built a number of churches to atone for his sins.
- The Crusades or the religious wars of the Middle Ages were one way Christian monarchs felt they could atone for their sins.