Atonement (also atoning, to atone) is the concept of a person taking action to correct previous sins or wrongdoing on their part, either through direct action to undo the consequences of that act, equivalent action to do good for others, or some other expression of feelings of remorse. From the Middle English attone or atoon (“agreed”, literally “at one”), now meaning to be “at one”, in harmony, with someone. Atonement “is closely associated to forgiveness, reconciliation, sorrow, remorse, repentance, reparation, and guilt”. It can be seen as a necessary step on a path to redemption.
2. a. In the pagan world, propitiation, with ceremonies or sacrifices, of the offended deity.
b. The dogma in Christian’s doctrine, the act accomplished by Jesus by his death, and which is renewed in the Holy Mass, also called sacrifice of expiation.
c. In Judaism day of atonement (Hebrew kippūr – see Yom Kippur), the feast and ritual of the tenth day of the month of Tishri (September-October), in which a goat was sacrificed to atone for the cople of the entire population ‘Israel (“scapegoat”).