Expiate


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Dec 20 2019 21

Expiate is a verb that means to make amends for.

Our word of the day began life with the Latin word expiare, which means ‘to atone for.’ Before arriving in contemporary English, it had other meanings. Shakespeare (and others in his time) used the word to mean ‘to put an end to.’ But more recently, expiate is typically used in a context related to guilt or guilty behavior. For example:

Tom felt guilty for embezzling his company’s money, but he feels a great deal better after repaying the company the money. It felt refreshing to expiate for his crime.