ap·​o·​lo·​gia | \ ˌa-pə-ˈlō-j(ē-)ə How to pronounce apologia (audio) \

Definition of apologia

: a defense especially of one's opinions, position, or actions the finest apologia or explanation of what drives a man to devote his life to pure mathematicsBritish Book News

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Choose the Right Synonym for apologia

apology, apologia, excuse, plea, pretext, alibi mean matter offered in explanation or defense. apology usually applies to an expression of regret for a mistake or wrong with implied admission of guilt or fault and with or without reference to mitigating or extenuating circumstances. said by way of apology that he would have met them if he could apologia implies not admission of guilt or regret but a desire to make clear the grounds for some course, belief, or position. his speech was an apologia for his foreign policy excuse implies an intent to avoid or remove blame or censure. used illness as an excuse for missing the meeting plea stresses argument or appeal for understanding or sympathy or mercy. her usual plea that she was nearsighted pretext suggests subterfuge and the offering of false reasons or motives in excuse or explanation. used any pretext to get out of work alibi implies a desire to shift blame or evade punishment and imputes mere plausibility to the explanation. his alibi failed to stand scrutiny

Did You Know?

An apologia and an apology usually aren't the same thing. An apology includes an admission of wrongdoing, but an apologia rarely apologizes in this sense, instead seeking to justify what was done. So, for example, in 1992 some of the books published for the 500th anniversary of Columbus's voyage were apologias explaining why European powers such as Spain acted as they did in the New World: because, for example, the Aztecs were a cruel people, practicing human sacrifice in grotesque ways (victims were skinned, and their skins were worn by the high priests), and Christianity hoped to reform them. Of course, the Spanish Inquisition was torturing and executing nonbelievers at the same time—but that would be the subject of other apologias.

Examples of apologia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Times’s best needle explainer/apologia, from March 2018, compares the needle to the work that political analysts do as the precinct data rolls in. Dara Lind, Vox, "America’s love-hate relationship with the New York Times election needle, explained," 6 Nov. 2018 John’s confession, both his apologia and his life story, is told in the first person. Margot Livesey, BostonGlobe.com, "Braiding lives of a Syrian refugee, a failed 23-year-old, and elderly accountant," 13 July 2018 That talk rankles the old school, which hears it as an apologia for stock prices that seem to be bubbling over. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "What's a stock worth? In the new economy, traditional accounting has its critics," 8 June 2018 An apologia for war embraced as a classic of pacifism. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "In ‘Godsong,’ a New Poem That’s 2,000 Years Old," 20 Mar. 2018 The Times eventually published a long public apologia, penned by the publisher himself. Steve Almond, Longreads, "My Own ‘Bad Story’: I Thought Journalism Would Make a Hero of Me," 3 Apr. 2018 The #MeToo fallout brought about a flood of firings, new organizations and pledges to change, but a vast array of apologia from perpetrators also ensued. Kasia Pilat, New York Times, "7 Comedy Shows to Catch in NYC This Weekend," 8 Mar. 2018 Discernment and accompaniment of the sinner (i.e., each one of us) is not diminished by a robust apologia of the good that the sinner is called to pursue. Elizabeth Kirk, National Review, "The Notre Dame Compromise," 10 Feb. 2018 Stated in such bald terms, the reconciliationist narrative seems like pure apologia for the white supremacy. Jeet Heer, New Republic, "Let’s Relitigate the Civil War," 1 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apologia.' 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 apologia

1784, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for apologia

Late Latin

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The first known use of apologia was in 1784

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