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

Definition of sorry

1 : feeling sorrow, regret, or penitence
2 : mournful, sad
3 : inspiring sorrow, pity, scorn, or ridicule : pitiful their affairs were in a sorry state

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Other Words from sorry

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

Plus, there'll be no issue over game-time (sorry DeAndre Yedlin)., "Newcastle Takeover: Picking a Completely Realistic Magpies Starting XI Under Rafa Benitez," 5 June 2019 Clarke was even seen giving a sorry look to her co-star. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everyone Is Talking About Conleth Hill's Reaction to Varys's Death on Game of Thrones," 28 May 2019 On the other hand (sorry), using one of these K-beauty creams is like a refreshing little treat in the middle of the day. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "I Always Have at Least 1 of These K-Beauty Hand Creams at My Desk," 28 May 2019 Kiernan Shipka may have a new love interest in her life, and no, his name is not Ross Lynch OR Gavin Leatherwood (sorry Sabrina stans). Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Does Kiernan Shipka Have a New Boyfriend?," 10 Apr. 2019 Margaret Cho, who was recently unmasked as the real Poodle (sorry, Judge Judy), spilled the details to E! Megan Stein, Country Living, "A 'Masked Singer’ Contestant Reveals if the Singers Know Who Else Is Competing on the Show," 30 Jan. 2019 Following his opening statement about the start of minicamp – right, sorry; Tuesday was the start of the Colts’ three-day minicamp – the first question to Reich mentioned that Luck has, in fact, thrown an actual NFL football. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Andrew Luck's head tells his shoulder it's time to throw," 12 June 2018 As to other giveaways and takeaways, sometimes sorry is not enough. Leah Garchik,, "San Rafael Pacifics’ personal tribute to fatherhood," 20 June 2018 The whole sorry event should be a seminal moment in the evolution of news. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "From Covington Catholic to an Uneasy Davos," 25 Jan. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near sorry





sorry about that



Statistics for sorry

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sorry

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

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More Definitions for sorry



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


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on sorry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sorry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sorry

Spanish Central: Translation of sorry

Nglish: Translation of sorry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sorry for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sorry

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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