I'd like to use a single word that means "a chance to makeup for past mistakes." It would likely be a synonym of any of the words/phrases in the following list:

second chance

another opportunity







fresh start

I recognize that this is a long list, but none of the single words here work for me - they're all a little too on the nose. I'm inspired by the Biblical concept of the Jubilee year, a year in which all debts were forgiven. For further context, the word should be applicable in reference to technical mistakes (not necessarily moral mistakes) as demonstrated by the sentence below.

A sample use:

"Due to her poor job performance, her first annual evaluation at her new post was very negative. This made her eager for something of a(n) __________ so she could demonstrate her competence to her supervisor."

  • What was she going to repeat? Taking an exam? Or is this some major spiritual re-awakening or even reincarnation of her old soul in a new body? I think the context is important. Could you rewrite your sentence to make it less generic. Thanks – chasly - supports Monica Dec 12 '20 at 0:10
  • @chasly-supportsMonica: Thanks for your comment and sorry for the vague sample use. I've amended the question based on your suggestion. – Jared Dec 12 '20 at 6:48
  • Your makeup is showing. – David Dec 12 '20 at 20:10

It would be a chance for atonement

= something that you do to show that you are sorry for something bad that you did:

Cambridge dictionary

Seeking a parallel, I considered Purgatory as a place that offers opportunity to atone. But it is too strong and too religious a concept for you us. confessional offers the opportunity to admit to mistakes but is also religious and a bit weak on doing much about the errors. That only leaves me with expiation.

Definition of expiate

transitive verb: to make amends for

“permission to expiate their offences by their assiduous labours”

Merriam Webster

  • Yes, this is along the lines of what I'm looking for, except I want one word that means a "chance for atonement." Atonement is the act of making up for past mistakes, but what word describes the chance for atonement (as opposed to the act of atonement). – Jared Dec 12 '20 at 7:00
  • Thanks. I slept on it and have edited accordingly. – Anton Dec 12 '20 at 8:02

The word that should go into the blank (your sample sentence) could well be any coming opportunities.

As far as the actual question is concerned, words such as amends, reparations, and @Anton's suggestion atonement, among many others work well.

EDIT— Since the OP has edited the question and provided an edited version of the sample sentence, I suggest that he go with rectification/betterment which seems to fit the bill quite nicely.

AHD defines the verb (rectify) as— To set right; Correct

Similarly, the same dictionary defines betterment as— An improvement over what has been the case.


Due to her poor job performance, her first annual evaluation at her new post was very negative. This made her eager for something of a rectification/ betterment so she could demonstrate her competence to her supervisor."

  • 1
    Thanks for this response, but I've realized my question was ill-posed. I've amended the question to clarify a bit more what I'm looking for. Sorry for the confusion. – Jared Dec 12 '20 at 6:53
  • @Jared— I have edited my answer. Please check the edited answer. – user405662 Dec 12 '20 at 6:56
  • 1
    Thanks again! Yes, these options certainly fit my sample sentence, but they are still not quite what I'm looking for. This may mean I'm having trouble communicating the concept I have in mind, or I'm looking for a word that doesn't exist. I'm quite picky here because I'll be using this word in a branding situation (as opposed to an expository one), so besides having the right meaning, it also needs to sound/feel a certain way. I'll leave the question open a little while longer, but if nothing else comes up I'll accept this answer in case it is helpful to future users. – Jared Dec 12 '20 at 7:10

From the sporting and entertainment worlds - comeback

comeback (kŭm′băk′) n.

  1. a. A return to formerly enjoyed status or prosperity: The film star made an unexpected comeback. b. A return to popularity: Wide ties are making a comeback this year.
  2. The act of making up a deficit, as in a contest or game. https://www.thefreedictionary.com/comeback

If you want a word that only golfers will understand then I suggest Mulligan!

Definition of mulligan : a free shot sometimes given a golfer in informal play when the previous shot was poorly played https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mulligan

If you want something that is over the top then how about rebirth or even resurrection.

. resurgence

. return

. revival

. recovery

The list is endless!

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