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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Expiation


EXPIA'TION, noun [Latin expiatio.] The act of atoning for a crime; the act of making satisfaction for an offense, by which the guilt is done away, and the obligation of the offended person to punish the crime is canceled; atonement; satisfaction. Among pagans and Jews, expiation was made chiefly by sacrifices, or washings and purification. Among christians, expiation for the sins of men is usually considered as made only by the obedience and sufferings of Christ.

1. The means by which atonement for crimes is made; atonement; as sacrifices and purification among heathens, and the obedience and death of Christ among christians.

2. Among ancient heathens, an act by which the threats of prodigies were averted.