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 Then in 2014, Rose said Webber owed his teammates an apology for what happened at U-M. Tyler J. Davis, Detroit Free Press, 8 Sep. 2021 The heir of a late duke who sold Sting his Tuscan winery 25 years ago says the singer has hit a flat note with a lame apology for comments the family deems slanderous. Colleen Barry, USA TODAY, 1 Sep. 2021 Stracke previously posted an apology for Minkoff on Instagram amid criticism from viewers. Dory Jackson, PEOPLE.com, 23 Aug. 2021 Prior to officially taking over as cohost of Jeopardy, Richards issued an initial apology for past behavior when details of alleged treatment of a Price Is Right model resurfaced from a discrimination lawsuit. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 20 Aug. 2021 On Monday, DaBaby shared a detailed apology for the hurtful comments and the misinformation about HIV/AIDS. Neelam Bohra And Scottie Andrew, CNN, 5 Aug. 2021 Shortly thereafter, DaBaby issued a second, lengthier apology for his behavior. — Reclusive R&B visionary Frank Ocean will return to headline Coachella in 2023. Daric L. Cottingham, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2021 The news marks the second cancellation since DaBaby’s new apology for his anti-gay and -LGBTQ remarks on August 2. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 3 Aug. 2021 The speed with which his schedule freed up must have caused a stir behind the scenes, because the rapper has taken it upon himself to issue yet another apology for his behaviour at Rolling Loud. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 3 Aug. 2021

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 English apologe "formal defense," borrowed from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French apologie "public defense in speech or writing," borrowed from Late Latin apologia, borrowed from Greek apología "speech in defense (Late Greek, "speech in defense of the Christian faith by a martyr, excuse, vindication before God"), derivative (with -ia -ia entry 1) of apologeîsthai "to speak in defense, defend oneself" — more at apologetic entry 1

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Time Traveler for apology

Time Traveler

The first known use of apology was in 1533

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Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Apology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apology. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on apology

Nglish: Translation of apology for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apology for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about apology


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