apologize

verb
apol·​o·​gize | \ ə-ˈpä-lə-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.

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 Schrader did apologize after calling the second impeachment of Trump, following the Jan. 6 insurrection, a lynching. Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2022 My in-laws did not apologize, nor acknowledge wrongdoing. cleveland, 3 Apr. 2022 My in-laws did not apologize, nor acknowledge wrongdoing. Amy Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, 3 Apr. 2022 My in-laws did not apologize, nor acknowledge wrongdoing. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 3 Apr. 2022 My in-laws did not apologize, nor acknowledge wrongdoing. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 3 Apr. 2022 Smith did not apologize to Rock on Sunday, but did offer an apology in a statement on Monday. Matt Donnelly, Variety, 31 Mar. 2022 Vonhatten came back to the house days later to apologize and offer the man money for the attack, documents said. Chicago Tribune, 11 May 2022 But on the other side are those who truly are isolationists, really do apologize for Putin, and don’t particularly value liberal democracy, with Tucker Carlson being the most prominent example. Blaise Malley, The New Republic, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of apologize

1596, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for apologize

earlier, "to speak in justification (of)," from apology + -ize

Learn More About apologize

Time Traveler for apologize

Time Traveler

The first known use of apologize was in 1596

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near apologize

apologist

apologize

apologize for

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for apologize

Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Apologize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apologize. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!