apologize

verb
apol·​o·​gize | \ -ˌjīz How to pronounce apologize (audio) \
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

Owen, given a chance to respond to Trinity’s mother, tearfully apologized. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "A Small Town in South Carolina Mourns the Prom Night Death of Trinity Harrison," 11 Apr. 2019 New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell will officially apologize Friday for the largest mass lynching in U.S. history. Rosario A. Iaconis, WSJ, "An Overdue Apology to Italian-Americans," 8 Apr. 2019 Prince Philip has since apologized in writing to at least one of the women, Emma Fairweather. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Will Reportedly Stop Driving on Public Roads," 1 Apr. 2019 My Mother's Day gift to you is apologizing for ages 12-17. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "40+ Mother's Day Captions to Make Your Photo With Mom Stand Out on Instagram," 22 Mar. 2019 Supposedly, the feud is over now, after Katy apologized and said she's always loved Taylor. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "8 Celeb Feuds that Will Never, Ever Go Away," 6 Mar. 2019 Following the broadcast of the documentary, artists including Chance the Rapper, Celine Dion and Lady Gaga apologized for collaborating with Mr. Kelly and had those songs removed from streaming services and digital download stores. Anne Steele, WSJ, "Singer R. Kelly Charged With 10 Counts of Aggravated Criminal Sex Abuse," 22 Feb. 2019 My issue was Hart never apologized, and seemed surprised to even be asked about homophobic views. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s role in the French protests has polarized observers," 11 Dec. 2018 Price, who built a reputation as a budget hawk during earlier congressional service, has apologized and repaid the government nearly $60,000. NBC News, "Watchdog: $341,000 wasted on travel for former high-flying HHS chief Tom Price," 13 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

11 May 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 How to pronounce apologize (audio) \
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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