beg one's pardon


the phrase I beg your pardon is used in polite speech to apologize when one has done something impolite or has made a mistake
I beg your pardon. I didn't mean to bump into you like that.
I beg your pardon. You're correct; the amount is 12 dollars.
It can be used to show that one is annoyed or offended by something that another person has said
"That boy isn't very bright." "I beg your pardon! That's my son!"
It can also be used as a question when one has not heard or understood something clearly
I beg your pardon. What did you say?
The shorter form beg pardon is also used informally this way
"He's been in Haiti for the past two months." "Beg pardon? He's been in Hawaii?" "No, Haiti."

Dictionary Entries Near beg one's pardon

Cite this Entry

“Beg one's pardon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

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