sorry

adjective
sor·​ry | \ ˈsär-ē How to pronounce sorry (audio) , ˈsȯr- \
sorrier; sorriest

Definition of sorry

1a : feeling sorrow or sympathy I'm so sorry for your loss. We were very sorry to hear the news. She felt sorry for him. [=she felt sympathy and concern for him because of his situation, problems, etc.] He told me to stop feeling sorry for myself. [=to stop indulging in self-pity]
b : feeling regret or penitence He was sorry about what he had said. "I wanted to apologize," she said, "for my abominable rudeness in laughing at you just now. It was idiotic of me and I don't know why I did it. I'm sorry."— P. G. Wodehouse "… I'm so sorry, but the tongs were too hot, and so I've made a mess," groaned poor Jo, regarding the little black pancakes with tears of regret.— Louisa May Alcott I am sorry we have ever differed, and extremely sorry I have ever given you offence.— Charles Dickens used to express polite regret I'm sorry, but I think you're wrong.I'm sorry to interrupt you. used to introduce disappointing or bad news in a polite way I'm sorry, but we won't be able to come. used as an apology for a minor fault or offense Oh, sorry—that was clumsy of me.I'm late again. Sorry about that. [=I'm sorry; I apologize]
2 : mournful, sad Rilla remembered one moonlit evening of childhood when she had said to her mother, "The moon just looks like a sorry, sorry face."— Lucy Maud Montgomery
3 : inspiring sorrow, pity, scorn, or ridicule : pitiful Their affairs were in a sorry state. Lawrence blushed, and then smiled awkwardly. A man in love is a sorry spectacle.— Agatha Christie In view of the sorry treatment of the Native Americans of the US, it is time that their voice was heard a little more clearly in contemporary American society.— Tim Flannery … had been on her way to work when her rusted-out, … sorry excuse for a car … choked on its last drop of gasoline, then died.— Ingrid Law

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Other Words from sorry

sorrily \ ˈsär-​ə-​lē How to pronounce sorry (audio) , ˈsȯr-​ \ adverb
sorriness \ ˈsär-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce sorry (audio) , ˈsȯr-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for sorry

contemptible, despicable, pitiable, sorry, scurvy mean arousing or deserving scorn. contemptible may imply any quality provoking scorn or a low standing in any scale of values. a contemptible liar despicable may imply utter worthlessness and usually suggests arousing an attitude of moral indignation. a despicable crime pitiable applies to what inspires mixed contempt and pity. a pitiable attempt at tragedy sorry may stress pitiable inadequacy or may suggest wretchedness or sordidness. this rattletrap is a sorry excuse for a car scurvy adds to despicable an implication of arousing disgust. a scurvy crew of hangers-on

Examples of sorry in a Sentence

I'm sorry if I offended you. She was sorry to hear about their divorce. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sorry for saying that. I'm sorry that I wasted your time. What a sorry state of affairs we're in now. That's the sorriest excuse I've heard.
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Recent Examples on the Web Just take a look at the sorry situation in Morgantown, W. Va. Ed Silverman, STAT, 27 July 2021 But, sorry guys, all your fiddles finish runner-up to the Big Cheesehead's arrival or lack thereof in Green Bay. Mark Craig, Star Tribune, 26 July 2021 That means real consequences for saying racial slurs, and not just getting voted out quickly by the British public (sorry — spoiler alert). Charlotte Walsh, Vulture, 24 July 2021 As the Parade of Nations continued, NBC put some delegations — sorry, Haiti; better luck next time, Vanuatu — picture-in-picture with the ads (full of cheery, unmasked faces) during commercial breaks. James Poniewozik, New York Times, 23 July 2021 Here’s How Privacy experts tell TIME the controversial report highlights the sorry state of the current data privacy landscape. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, 23 July 2021 LeBron James was there, not as a player for the Los Angeles Lakers — sorry about Round 1, King James — but as Suns’ guard Chris Paul’s good friend. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 17 July 2021 Hardware diversity among Windows devices and the sorry state of IoT security could combine to create other vulnerabilities in how Windows Hello accepts face data. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 16 July 2021 Applicants must take up residency and -- sorry boomers -- be a maximum of 40 years old. Silvia Marchetti, CNN, 10 July 2021

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sorry

Middle English sory, from Old English sārig, from sār sore

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Time Traveler for sorry

Time Traveler

The first known use of sorry was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near sorry

sorrowless

sorry

sort

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sorry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sorry. Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for sorry

sorry

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sorry

: feeling sorrow or regret
used to express polite regret
used to introduce disappointing or bad news in a polite way

sorry

adjective
sor·​ry | \ ˈsär-ē How to pronounce sorry (audio) \
sorrier; sorriest

Kids Definition of sorry

1 : feeling sorrow or regret I'm sorry I lied.
2 : causing sorrow, pity, or scorn : pitiful a sorry sight a sorry excuse

More from Merriam-Webster on sorry

Nglish: Translation of sorry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sorry for Arabic Speakers

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