noun apol·o·gy \ə-ˈpä-lə-jē\

Definition of apology



  1. 1 a :  a formal justification :  defense b :  excuse 2a

  2. 2 :  an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret <a public apology>

  3. 3 :  a poor substitute :  makeshift

Examples of apology in a sentence

  1. The company issued an official apology to its customers for its error.

  2. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any problems we may have caused.

  3. He made a public apology for his controversial remarks.

  4. He refused to accept my apology.

  5. We received a letter of apology from the company.

  6. I made my apologies and left.

Origin and Etymology of apology

Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French apologie, from Late Latin apologia, from Greek, from apo- + logos speech — more at legend

First Known Use: 1533

Synonym Discussion of apology

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>.

APOLOGY Defined for English Language Learners


noun apol·o·gy \ə-ˈpä-lə-jē\

Definition of apology for English Language Learners

  • : a statement saying that you are sorry about something : an expression of regret for having done or said something wrong

  • apologies : an expression of regret for not being able to do something

  • : something that is said or written to defend something that other people criticize

APOLOGY Defined for Kids


noun apol·o·gy \ə-ˈpä-lə-jē\

Definition of apology for Students



  1. :  an expression of regret for having done or said something wrong

Seen and Heard

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a harsh rebuke

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