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 regretI'm sorry, but I think you're wrong.I'm sorry to interrupt you. used to introduce disappointing or bad news in a polite wayI'm sorry, but we won't be able to come. used as an apology for a minor fault or offenseOh, 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 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 This show greatly contributed to the sorry state my hearing is now in. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Readers respond: ‘My favorite concerts,’ Part 2," 9 Aug. 2020 Cowen wouldn't reveal what was said other that to use a British term that roughly translates to stop feeling sorry for yourself and get moving. Doug Ferguson, Star Tribune, "Column: 'Big Game Brooks' faces major test to his reputation," 4 Aug. 2020 So sorry to everyone who feels the loss and had the chance to encounter Nick in their life. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "'Glee' alum Jenna Ushkowitz is engaged to David Stanley: 'Yes, a million times, yes'," 3 Aug. 2020 While most fans are on Beth's side, some feel sorry for Jamie, especially since one wrong decision changed his relationship with his sister forever. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "‘Yellowstone’ Fans Finally Found Out Why Beth Really Hates Jamie During Sunday's Big Reveal," 21 July 2020 Virtual dates have taken the place of dinner and a movie for those who wish to be safe rather than sorry. Thatiana Diaz, refinery29.com, "5 Pro Makeup Tips For Your Next Big Zoom Meeting," 30 June 2020 So very sorry to hear Bill St. John stopped writing his column. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Going to miss Bill St. John (5/18/20)," 18 May 2020 Virtual dates have taken the place of dinner and a movie for those who wish to be safe rather than sorry. Thatiana Diaz, refinery29.com, "5 Pro Makeup Tips For Your Next Big Zoom Meeting," 30 June 2020 Over the next few months members will try to pick between eight candidates, each hoping to rescue the institution from its present sorry state. The Economist, "Global trade The race to lead the WTO begins," 11 July 2020

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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Statistics for sorry

Last Updated

12 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sorry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sorry. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for sorry

sorry

adjective
How to pronounce sorry (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on 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

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