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 How to pronounce apologetically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for apologetic

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of apologetic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The officer talked to the neighbor, who was apologetic and offered to pay the $276 bill. John Benson, cleveland, "Unleashed large canines attack, send neighbor’s dog to the vet: Broadview Heights Police Blotter," 29 Jan. 2020 The work that the apologetic discourse of law and economics does in justifying the status quo has been starkly revealed by the crises of the last decades. Adam Tooze, The New York Review of Books, "How ‘Big Law’ Makes Big Money," 28 Jan. 2020 When a chance came to use sharp elbows on an opponent, the candidates were almost apologetic. John Wildermuth, SFChronicle.com, "Democratics stick to their talking points in latest presidential debate," 14 Jan. 2020 Antonio Brown is apologetic and wants back in the NFL. Evan Hilbert, USA TODAY, "'It just adds an extra little boost': Meet the SEC hoops star that's also a dad," 9 Dec. 2019 Morey took down the tweet, and to contain the fallout, the NBA issued two press releases, one in English and one in Chinese that was decidedly more apologetic. Ian Bremmer, Time, "Why China Has the NBA in a Full-Court Press on Free Speech," 10 Oct. 2019 The officer said the resident was apologetic and fully cooperative. John Benson, cleveland, "Brecksville teens arrested for shooting rifles in backyard: Brecksville Police Blotter," 20 Nov. 2019 According to police, Soulouque claimed Rodman was apologetic — and even invited him to dinner to make up what happened. Fox News, "Dennis Rodman denies claims he slapped man during Florida party," 19 Oct. 2019 Aside from an apologetic and supportive tweet after the cracks were discovered the previous September, Marc Benioff had been publicly silent regarding the closure. John Brant, Popular Mechanics, "It Was Supposed to Be the Safest Building in the World. Then It Cracked.," 25 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Lewis’s writings — his fantasy, science fiction, apologetics, and theological essays — were as diverse as his public personae. Joseph Loconte, National Review, "C. S. Lewis: Oxford Don vs. the Devil," 31 Aug. 2019 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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Time Traveler for apologetic

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for apologetic

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Apologetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apologetic. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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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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