If you guessed that reparation is related to the word repair, you were right. Both come from the Latin word meaning "to restore." While reparation has a range of meanings, they all convey the sense of fixing or making up for a past wrong.

In contemporary usage, the plural form is more common than the singular. Victims of a crime, for example, may receive reparations from the perpetrators. A defeated nation may be forced to pay reparations to its victorious enemies. Many have suggested that the United States government should provide reparations to the descendants of slaves. The word almost always has legal or political connotations, and it conveys the sense of restitution — often expressed in money — for wrongdoing.

Definitions of reparation
  1. noun
    something done or paid in expiation of a wrong
    synonyms: amends
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    type of:
    atonement, expiation, propitiation
    the act of atoning for sin or wrongdoing (especially appeasing a deity)
  2. noun
    compensation (given or received) for an insult or injury
    “an act for which there is no reparation
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    type of:
    something (such as money) given or received as payment or reparation (as for a service or loss or injury)
  3. noun
    (usually plural) compensation exacted from a defeated nation by the victors
    “Germany was unable to pay the reparations demanded after World War I”
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    type of:
    something (such as money) given or received as payment or reparation (as for a service or loss or injury)
  4. noun
    the act of putting something in working order again
    synonyms: fix, fixing, fixture, mend, mending, repair
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    the act of mending a hole in a garment with crossing threads
    the act of mending a hole in a garment by sewing a patch over it
    care, maintenance, upkeep
    activity involved in maintaining something in good working order
    band aid, quick fix, quickie, quicky
    hurried repair
    the act of restoring something or someone to a satisfactory state
    the activity of constructing something again
    the act of restoring something to its original state
    restoration to a previous state
    camera care
    keeping a camera in good working order
    car care
    keeping a car in good working order
    inspection and repair, overhaul, service
    periodic maintenance on a car or machine
    the restoration of run-down urban areas by the middle class (resulting in the displacement of low-income residents)
    reclamation, rehabilitation, renewal
    the conversion of wasteland into land suitable for use of habitation or cultivation
    a complete reconstruction and renovation of something
    reassembly, refabrication
    assembling again
    re-formation, regeneration
    forming again (especially with improvements or removal of defects); renewing and reconstituting
    building again
    pump priming
    introducing water into a pump to improve the seal and start the water flowing
    scheduled maintenance
    maintenance at a regularly scheduled time
    steam fitting
    care (installation and maintenance) of equipment for ventilating or heating or refrigerating
    the restoration of someone to a useful place in society
    the act of restoring someone to a previous position
    the act of restoring to a more youthful condition
    type of:
    the act of improving something
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