apol·​o·​gy | \ ə-ˈpä-lə-jē How to pronounce apology (audio) \
plural apologies

Definition of apology

1a : an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret a public apology
b apologies plural : an expression of regret for not being able to do something I won't be able to attend. Please give them my apologies.
2a : something that is said or written to defend something that other people criticize : defense The book is an apology for capitalism.
3 informal : a poor substitute or example : makeshift He's a poor apology for a father.

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of apology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The main topics include the wording and modalities of an official German apology, as well as the compensation to be paid. Quartz Africa, "Even after acknowledging the Namibia genocide of WWI, Germany still hasn’t learned the key lesson," 10 Aug. 2019 The indifferent man offered no excuses or apologies. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "On Beauty and Disability," 8 Aug. 2019 As an apology for the glitches, all players who login will receive 20 free diamonds and two staff tickets. Michael Koczwara, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Journey' Comes to Mobile, 'Dr. Mario' Prescribes Big Updates," 8 Aug. 2019 Considering how well the Mets pitching staff has done under Regan’s watch, The Pontiff owes The Vulture an apology. ... Bob Raissman, courant.com, "Retirement talk off limits for Suzyn Waldman, John Sterling," 2 Aug. 2019 Then allll the Jed terribleness, including a bunch of half-apologies for his behavior, and Hannah rising above like a boss. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron Made the Internet Explode on the Finale of 'The Bachelorette'," 31 July 2019 Westmoreland wasn't satisfied with just an apology. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Milwaukee man said he was racially profiled while trying to return blinds at The Home Depot in Wauwatosa," 29 July 2019 Most likely the apology was de facto required by the NFL as a condition of the league not punishing Elliott. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Could Roger Goodell Change Mind in Disciplining Ezekiel Elliott After Pressed Charges?," 16 July 2019 Daniel Salgado, chairman of the Cahuilla Band of Indians, said Newsom’s formal apology is a recognition of a long history of atrocities against native people in California. Taryn Luna, latimes.com, "Newsom apologizes for California’s history of violence against Native Americans," 18 June 2019

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

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for apology

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

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Statistics for apology

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for apology

The first known use of apology was in 1533

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More Definitions for apology


apol·​o·​gy | \ ə-ˈpä-lə-jē How to pronounce apology (audio) \
plural apologies

Kids Definition of apology

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

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Comments on apology

What made you want to look up apology? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

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