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From Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. The act of making satisfaction or atonement for any crime or fault; the extinguishing of guilt by suffering or penalty. His liberality seemed to have something in it of self-abasement and expiation. (W. Irving)

2. The means by which reparation or atonement for crimes or sins is made; an expiatory sacrifice or offering; an atonement. Those shadowy expiations weak, The blood of bulls and goats. (Milton)

3. An act by which the treats of prodigies were averted among the ancient heathen.

Origin: L. Expiatio: cf.F. Expiation.