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From: DICT.TW English-Chinese Dictionary 英漢字典

 atone·ment /əˈtonmənt/

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 A·tone·ment n.
 1.  Reconciliation; restoration of friendly relations; agreement; concord. [Archaic]
    By whom we have now received the atonement.   --Rom. v. 11.
 He desires to make atonement
 Betwixt the Duke of Gloucester and your brothers.   --Shak.
 2. Satisfaction or reparation made by giving an equivalent for an injury, or by doing of suffering that which will be received in satisfaction for an offense or injury; expiation; amends; -- with for. Specifically, in theology: The expiation of sin made by the obedience, personal suffering, and death of Christ.
    When a man has been guilty of any vice, the best atonement be can make for it is, to warn others.   --Spectator.
    The Phocians behaved with, so much gallantry, that they were thought to have made a sufficient atonement for their former offense.   --Potter.
 Day of Atonement Jewish Antiq., the only fast day of the Mosaic ritual, celebrated on the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishri), according to the rites described in Leviticus xvi. Also called Yom Kippur.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

      n 1: compensation for a wrong; "we were unable to get
           satisfaction from the local store" [syn: expiation, satisfaction]
      2: the act of atoning for sin or wrongdoing (especially
         appeasing a deity) [syn: expiation, propitiation]

From: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

    This word does not occur in the Authorized Version of the New
    Testament except in Rom. 5:11, where in the Revised Version the
    word "reconciliation" is used. In the Old Testament it is of
    frequent occurrence.
      The meaning of the word is simply at-one-ment, i.e., the state
    of being at one or being reconciled, so that atonement is
    reconciliation. Thus it is used to denote the effect which flows
    from the death of Christ.
      But the word is also used to denote that by which this
    reconciliation is brought about, viz., the death of Christ
    itself; and when so used it means satisfaction, and in this
    sense to make an atonement for one is to make satisfaction for
    his offences (Ex. 32:30; Lev. 4:26; 5:16; Num. 6:11), and, as
    regards the person, to reconcile, to propitiate God in his
      By the atonement of Christ we generally mean his work by which
    he expiated our sins. But in Scripture usage the word denotes
    the reconciliation itself, and not the means by which it is
    effected. When speaking of Christ's saving work, the word
    "satisfaction," the word used by the theologians of the
    Reformation, is to be preferred to the word "atonement."
    Christ's satisfaction is all he did in the room and in behalf of
    sinners to satisfy the demands of the law and justice of God.
    Christ's work consisted of suffering and obedience, and these
    were vicarious, i.e., were not merely for our benefit, but were
    in our stead, as the suffering and obedience of our vicar, or
    substitute. Our guilt is expiated by the punishment which our
    vicar bore, and thus God is rendered propitious, i.e., it is now
    consistent with his justice to manifest his love to
    transgressors. Expiation has been made for sin, i.e., it is
    covered. The means by which it is covered is vicarious
    satisfaction, and the result of its being covered is atonement
    or reconciliation. To make atonement is to do that by virtue of
    which alienation ceases and reconciliation is brought about.
    Christ's mediatorial work and sufferings are the ground or
    efficient cause of reconciliation with God. They rectify the
    disturbed relations between God and man, taking away the
    obstacles interposed by sin to their fellowship and concord. The
    reconciliation is mutual, i.e., it is not only that of sinners
    toward God, but also and pre-eminently that of God toward
    sinners, effected by the sin-offering he himself provided, so
    that consistently with the other attributes of his character his
    love might flow forth in all its fulness of blessing to men. The
    primary idea presented to us in different forms throughout the
    Scripture is that the death of Christ is a satisfaction of
    infinite worth rendered to the law and justice of God (q.v.),
    and accepted by him in room of the very penalty man had
    incurred. It must also be constantly kept in mind that the
    atonement is not the cause but the consequence of God's love to
    guilty men (John 3:16; Rom. 3:24, 25; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:9;
    4:9). The atonement may also be regarded as necessary, not in an
    absolute but in a relative sense, i.e., if man is to be saved,
    there is no other way than this which God has devised and
    carried out (Ex. 34:7; Josh. 24:19; Ps. 5:4; 7:11; Nahum 1:2, 6;
    Rom. 3:5). This is God's plan, clearly revealed; and that is
    enough for us to know.