• (British, America) IPA: /ˈɛk.spi.eɪt/

expiate (expiates, present participle expiating; past and past participle expiated)

  1. (transitive or intransitive) To atone or make reparation for.
    • The Treasurer obliged himself to expiate the injury.
    • 1888, Leo XIII, "Quod Anniversarius",
      Thus those pious souls who expiate the remainder of their sins amidst such tortures will receive a special and opportune consolation, […]
    • 1913, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Return of Tarzan, Chapter VI,
      I am going out to expiate a great wrong, Paul. A very necessary feature of the expiation is the marksmanship of my opponent.
  2. (transitive) To make amends or pay the penalty for.
    • 1876, Jules Verne, translated by Stephen W. White, The Mysterious Island, part 2, chapter 17,
      He had only to live and expiate in solitude the crimes which he had committed.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To relieve or cleanse of guilt.
    • 1829, Pierre Henri Larcher, Larcher's Notes on Herodotus, vol. 2, p. 195 ↗,
      […] and Epimenides was brought from Crete to expiate the city.
  4. (transitive) To purify with sacred rites.
    • 1609, The Holie Bible, […] (Douay–Rheims Bible), Doway: Lavrence Kellam, […], OCLC 1006139495 ↗, Devteronomie 18:10, page 435 ↗:
      Neither let there be found in thee any that shal expiate his ſonne, or daughter, making them to paſſe through the fyre: or that demandeth of ſouthſayers, and obſerueth dreames and diuinations, neither let there be a ſorcerer,
  5. (transitive) To wind up, bring to an end.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 22”, in Shake-speares Sonnets. Neuer before Imprinted, London: By G[eorge] Eld for T[homas] T[horpe] and are to be sold by William Aspley, OCLC 216596634 ↗, lines 3–4:
      But when in thee times forrwes I behould, / Then look I death my daies ſhould expiate.
Related terms Translations
  • Italian: espiare
  • Russian: искупа́ть

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