apol·​o·​get·​ic | \ ə-ˌpä-lə-ˈje-tik How to pronounce apologetic (audio) \

Definition of apologetic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : feeling or showing regret : regretfully acknowledging fault or failure : expressing an apology They were apologetic about the error. We received an apologetic letter. an apologetic smile/tone
2 : offered in defense or vindication the apologetic writings of the early Christians



Definition of apologetic (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from apologetic


apologetically \ ə-​ˌpä-​lə-​ˈje-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for apologetic

Synonyms: Adjective

compunctious, contrite, penitent, regretful, remorseful, repentant, rueful, sorry

Antonyms: Adjective

impenitent, remorseless, unapologetic, unrepentant

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Examples of apologetic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Every step is deliberate and, for people whose entire careers are built on the back of authenticity, their inability to be genuinely apologetic shouldn’t be celebrated. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Dr Disrespect and other creators keep hiding their apologies," 3 July 2019 Stalin himself edited Soviet history textbooks to craft a more apologetic view of Ivan’s violent ways. Noah Sneider, Harper's magazine, "Slash Fictions," 10 May 2019 Dewey was not particularly apologetic about his actions. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Melvil Dewey’s Name Stripped from Top Library Award," 28 June 2019 Would-be shoppers got only images of cute canines delivering an apologetic message. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "Aberdeen museum recovers history from a fire, and Seattle is opening more tiny-house villages | Tuesday Morning Brief, July 17," 17 July 2018 Aurora Christian coach Dan Beebe almost sounded apologetic. Rick Armstrong, Aurora Beacon-News, "Boys basketball notes: Aurora Christian faces another big test in Winnebago," 6 Feb. 2018 More Stories Byeongsu is less apologetic about his crimes than his TV counterparts. Alana Mohamed, The Atlantic, "Inside the Head of an Aging Serial Killer," 11 June 2019 If America is the land of the closed, coddled mind, Great Britain was the land of the permanently apologetic devil’s advocate. Sahil Handa, National Review, "Reclaiming Britishness from the Brexit Debacle," 10 June 2019 By the way: Those who decline to vote for Bonds or Clemens shouldn't be sheepish or apologetic or otherwise feel guilty. Dennis Manoloff, cleveland.com, "DMan's BBWAA ballot for MLB Hall of Fame Class of 2018," 24 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That is an apologetics for white supremacy, an ideology with a long legacy of violence. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "How Social-Media Trolls Turned U.C. Berkeley Into a Free-Speech Circus," 23 May 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apologetic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of apologetic


1649, in the meaning defined at sense 2


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for apologetic

Adjective and Noun

Greek apologētikos, from apologeisthai to defend, from apo- + logos speech

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Statistics for apologetic

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for apologetic

The first known use of apologetic was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for apologetic


apol·​o·​get·​ic | \ ə-ˌpä-lə-ˈje-tik How to pronounce apologetic (audio) \

Kids Definition of apologetic

: sorry for having done or said something wrong They were apologetic about their rude behavior.

Other Words from apologetic

apologetically \ -​ti-​kə-​lē \ adverb

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Comments on apologetic

What made you want to look up apologetic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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