sor·​ry | \ˈsär-ē, 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 , ˈsȯr-​ \ adverb
sorriness \ ˈsär-​ē-​nəs , 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

Enjoy your weekend, stay safe, and remember to keep hydrated (and, sorry, extra pints at Lucky Baldwin’s do not really count)., "Brownies on the grill, vampiros in the truck," 7 July 2018 Besides buying it for $199 outright, there is also a Fi-nancing plan (sorry) which costs $8.29/mo for 24 months. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Google’s Project Fi gets new phones from LG and Motorola," 30 May 2018 And although no one will feel sorry for LeBron James now making $38.5 million a year, his value to any franchise is many times greater than that. Andrew Brandt,, "How NFL and NBA Contracts Differ, and What NFL Players Can Do to Change It," 10 July 2018 JUICE Wrld is the suburban Chicago teen born Jared Higgins who specializes in feeling sorry for himself in song, thankfully with a modicum of self- awareness. Dan Deluca,, "Drake, Ariana Grande, Cardi B and the other songs to create the best Summer music playlist," 5 July 2018 Please don’t feel sorry for me, trust me your boy fine even with missing fingers lol. Chris Korman, For The Win, "Jason Pierre-Paul shares horrific raw photos to remind you to be careful with fireworks," 4 July 2018 Please don’t feel sorry for me, trust me your boy fine even with missing fingers lol. Chris Korman, USA TODAY, "Bucs' Jason Pierre-Paul shares graphic photos of his hand for fireworks safety message," 4 July 2018 Science has proven the impossibility of the human brain to register self-pity, or maunder on about the generally sorry state of things, while in the presence of canine bellyflops. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "This Whippet Is One of the World's Great Athletes," 18 June 2018 Her family caretakers are a sorry bunch: Fanny (Day) is a violent recovering heroin addict whose own daughter is a fugitive who won’t bring her baby to meet her mother, even for money. Toby Zinman,, "'Peace for Mary Frances': Turgid family drama," 5 June 2018

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

9 Nov 2018

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 \
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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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 clear from alleged fault or guilt

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