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

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 The restaurant cut the bill down and the staff was apologetic, Guinee said. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Jersey Shore restaurant at odds with customer after video shows worm crawling in dinner," 31 July 2018 Several hours after she was widely criticized on social media for her remarks, Kelly sent an apologetic email to her NBC colleagues. John Koblin, The Seattle Times, "After ‘blackface’ remarks, TV host Megyn Kelly sends apologetic email to colleagues," 23 Oct. 2018 All Khosrowshahi had to do was look apologetic then pivot to the company’s new ethos. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Uber," 29 Dec. 2018 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

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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Statistics for apologetic

Last Updated

20 May 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).


using a distributed computer network

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