redeem

If you redeem yourself, you make up for wrongs by doing something that makes you seem good again, like when after being irritable and snappy with your grandmother, you redeem yourself by bringing her flowers and apologizing.

Redeem comes from the French rédimer, which means "to deliver," and which in turn comes from the Latin for "buy back." In Christianity you can be redeemed by renouncing your sins. Classic heroes fail and then redeem themselves with valiant acts. But redeem doesn't have to be religious or moral. When you turn in a glass bottle for recycling, you redeem it, just as you redeem your coupon for 20% off your next hamburger.

Definitions of redeem
  1. verb
    exchange or buy back for money; under threat
    synonyms: ransom
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    type of:
    change, exchange, interchange
    give to, and receive from, one another
  2. verb
    pay off (loans or promissory notes)
    synonyms: pay off
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    type of:
    pay
    give money, usually in exchange for goods or services
  3. verb
    convert into cash; of commercial papers
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    type of:
    cash, cash in
    exchange for cash
  4. verb
    turn in (vouchers or coupons) and receive something in exchange
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    type of:
    change, exchange, interchange
    give to, and receive from, one another
  5. verb
    save from sins
    synonyms: deliver, save
  6. verb
    restore the honor or worth of
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    type of:
    reestablish, reinstate, restore
    bring back into original existence, use, function, or position
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