apologize

verb
apol·​o·​gize | \ -ˌjīz \
apologized; apologizing

Definition of apologize

intransitive verb

: to express regret for something done or said : to make an apology He apologized for his mistake. She apologized to us for losing her temper.

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Other Words from apologize

apologizer noun

Does apologize always mean "to say 'I'm sorry'"?

The verb apologize is a surprisingly recent introduction to the English language when one stops to consider that we have likely been committing deeds which require an apology since time immemorial. Our earliest current record of use comes at the end of the 16th century, in the writing of Thomas Nash:

”….but as the Elephant and the Rinoceros neuer fight but about the best pastures, so will I winne from him his best Patrons, and driue him to confesse himselfe a Conundrum, who now thinks he hath learning inough to proue the saluation of Lucifer; Apologize it for him as many Chutes, Barnesses, or vile riggers, or Fregeuiles as there will.”

The earliest uses of apologize more often meant “to offer an excuse or defense” than “to acknowledge a fault.” The verb came into our language from the noun apology, which similarly had an initial meaning (beginning in the early 16th century) that did not necessarily acknowledge fault (“something said or written in defense or justification of what appears to others to be wrong or of what may be liable to disapprobation”).

Examples of apologize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But when one of his old homophobic tweets resurfaced, Hart leaned into not apologizing for them. Ernest Owens, Vox, "What it’s like to be black and gay watching the Kevin Hart controversy unfold.," 7 Jan. 2019 Now, Lee has put out another apology video, this time apologizing for her first one, which fans ultimately deemed insensitive. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "Laura Lee Is Attempting to Apologize Again for Her Controversial Tweets," 27 Sep. 2018 McGill, who began in Sedona in November 2016, reportedly sent a department-wide email apologizing for the announcement's timing given his short tenure. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Peoria's search for new police chief down to four finalists," 14 July 2018 Samantha Bee, just six weeks removed from apologizing for using a vulgar epithet to describe Ivanka Trump, was also nominated. John Koblin, New York Times, "Emmy Nominations 2018: ‘Game of Thrones’ and Netflix Lead the Way," 13 July 2018 Sauce Hockey, the retailer selling the shirts, also apologized for the descriptors. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Walmart Was Once Again Forced to Pull an Offensive Shirt From Its Website," 12 July 2018 Vukojevic was fined $15,150 by FIFA but Vida was let off with an official warning after apologizing for the video, which was posted after the team beat Russia. baltimoresun.com, "England vs. Croatia: What to watch for in today's World Cup semifinal," 11 July 2018 And finally there is the matter of how Richardson has never publicly apologized for any of this. Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "Jerry Richardson's Hubris Remains Immortalized in His Statue," 10 July 2018 Dozens of families are suing University Hospitals, which previously apologized, for alleged negligence. CBS News, "Fertility clinic denies liability for loss of eggs, embryos in freezer malfunction," 4 July 2018

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

1596, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for apologize

see apology

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Statistics for apologize

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for apologize

The first known use of apologize was in 1596

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More Definitions for apologize

apologize

verb
apol·​o·​gize | \ ə-ˈpä-lə-ˌjīz \
apologized; apologizing

Kids Definition of apologize

: to express regret for having done or said something wrong

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Comments on apologize

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