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[ek-spee-eyt] /ˈɛk spiˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), expiated, expiating.
to atone for; make amends or reparation for:
to expiate one's crimes.
1585-95; < Latin expiātus (past participle of expiāre to atone for, make good), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + piā(re) to propitiate (see pious) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
expiator, noun
unexpiated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for expiate
  • They now have their court novelists, along with their psychiatrists and then- debt counselors, to expiate the evil spirits.
  • But when he falls in love with one of the deportees, the girl with the bewitching eyes, he begins to expiate his sins.
  • If the play is Eliot's attempt to expiate his sin, it is no wonder he later renounced it.
  • To expiate in shame the crimes I've done.
  • We expiate in old age the follies of our youth.
  • Fireproof wears a badge of sweet solemnity, seeking the audience's empathy for decent people working to expiate their sins.
British Dictionary definitions for expiate


(transitive) to atone for or redress (sin or wrongdoing); make amends for
Derived Forms
expiator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin expiāre, from pius dutiful; see pious
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for expiate

c.1600 (OED entry has a typographical error in the earliest date), from Latin expiatus, past participle of expiare "to make amends, atone for (see expiation). Related: Expiable (1560s); expiated; expiating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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