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Definitionatone (demonstrate sorrow for a wrong either by doing something good to make up for the wrong, or accepting punishment)
- And thus, while standing on the scaffold, in this vain show of expiation, Mr. Dimmesdale was overcome with a great horror of mind, as if the universe were gazing at a scarlet token on his naked breast, right over his heart.Chapter 12 -- The Minister's Vigil (11% in)
- ...which harrowed it; that, between fleeing as an avowed criminal, and remaining as a hypocrite, conscience might find it hard to strike the balance; that it was human to avoid the peril of death and infamy, and the inscrutable machinations of an enemy; that, finally, to this poor pilgrim, on his dreary and desert path, faint, sick, miserable, there appeared a glimpse of human affection and sympathy, a new life, and a true one, in exchange for the heavy doom which he was now expiating.Chapter 18 -- A Flood of Sunshine (27% in)
There are no more uses of "expiate" in The Scarlet Letter.
Typical Usage (best examples)