Definition of apologia
- the finest apologia or explanation of what drives a man to devote his life to pure mathematics
- —British Book News
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.
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.
First Known Use: 1784See Words from the same year
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having a quality expressive of sadness
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