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Definition of reparation

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rep·a·ra·tion  audio  (rp-rshn) KEY 

  1. The act or process of repairing or the condition of being repaired.
  2. The act or process of making amends; expiation.
  3. Something done or paid to compensate or make amends.
  4. reparations Compensation or remuneration required from a defeated nation as indemnity for damage or injury during a war.

Middle English reparacion, from Old French, from Late Latin reparti, repartin-, restoration, from Latin repartus, past participle of reparre, to repair ; see repair1

reparation, redress, amends, restitution, indemnity

These nouns refer to something given in compensation for loss, suffering, or damage. Reparation implies recompense given to one who has suffered at the hands of another: "reparation for our rights at home, and security against the like future violations" (William Pitt). Redress involves setting an injustice right; the term may imply retaliation or punishment: "There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law" (Abraham Lincoln). Amends usually implies the giving of satisfaction for a minor grievance or lesser injury: How can I make amends for losing my temper? Restitution is the restoration of something taken illegally: "He attempted to enforce the restitution of the Roman lands and cities" (George P.R. James). Indemnity implies repayment or reimbursement: Homeowners demanded indemnity for the damages caused by the riot.

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