apol·​o·​get·​ic | \ ə-ˌpä-lə-ˈje-tik \

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

Tesla’s general counsel, Todd Maron, said that Elon Musk was apologetic for not escalating the matter sooner, according to the Times. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Black Tesla factory workers describe racism and discrimination, NYT reports," 30 Nov. 2018 On Saturday night, her ex-husband Offset interrupted her performance at the Rolling Loud Festival in Los Angeles in a grand apologetic gesture to try to make amends for his cheating ways. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Cardi B’s Post-Breakup Fashion Look Is Barbie Meets Lisa Vanderpump," 17 Dec. 2018 There is nothing about this book that is pigeonholed or apologetic. Tyler Ford, Teen Vogue, "Jacob Tobia on Their Forthcoming "Coming-of-Gender" Memoir Titled Sissy," 29 Aug. 2018 Most of the response was critical and an apologetic Bee acknowledged the controversy overshadowed her larger message. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Comedy scorecard: Winners and losers in the Trump era," 27 June 2018 Once partners in a gold-fueled money-laundering racket between Latin America and Miami, Samer Barrage and Juan Granda stood as ashamed and apologetic defendants on Friday while a federal judge sent them to prison for their multibillion-dollar crime. Jay Weaver, miamiherald, "2 gold dealers who led massive money-laundering scheme sentenced to prison | Miami Herald," 19 Jan. 2018 Her apologetic nature was quite different from that of Kavanaugh, who testified immediately after Ford, never once stopping to make the committee feel comfortable, as Ford had. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "Christine Blasey Ford's Attempts to Make Everyone Comfortable Is a Burden Women Know Well," 28 Sep. 2018 To be fair, Amazon did respond with an apologetic tweet, recognizing the inconvenience and pledging to do better for the next round of deals. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "People Are Calling Amazon Prime Day 2018 a "Disaster" on Twitter and It's Getting Heated," 17 July 2018 On a day when so many players complained about the course that the USGA held an apologetic press conference, Johnson’s camp acknowledged the conditions. Stephanie Apstein, SI.com, "Dustin Johnson Slips Into Four-Way Tie for U.S. Open Lead After Turbulent Third Round," 16 June 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 The Trump Internet made a few early attempts at photo apologetics. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "The Trump Internet’s search for a G-7 photo that makes him look good," 10 June 2018 Aspiring pastoral candidates were inspired by his capacity to teach systematic theology and apologetics, the defense of the Christian faith. Russell Pulliam, Washington Post, "Theologian R.C. Sproul, who influenced evangelical beliefs about the Bible, dies at 78," 15 Dec. 2017 Outlets such as the Washington Post and CNN published fawning apologetics and romanticized profiles of the far left’s vigilante thugs. David French, National Review, "Antifa Just Showed Its True Colors. Again.," 28 Aug. 2017 Many of its students are pastors who want to get more education in Christian apologetics, or defending the faith using history, reason, evidence and philosophy. Tim Funk, charlotteobserver, "With more students streaming classes online, school plans to sell campus and find smaller facility," 29 July 2017

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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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for apologetic

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

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More Definitions for apologetic



English Language Learners Definition of apologetic

: feeling or showing regret : expressing an apology


apol·​o·​get·​ic | \ ə-ˌpä-lə-ˈje-tik \

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

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