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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Throughout this whole sorry saga, British officials were perfectly clear that the deals being negotiated were not practically enforceable. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 18 May 2022 Build Back Better plan and the sorry prospects for its remaining climate measures, that Democrats are looking into creative ways to invest in clean energy. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 10 May 2022 The document enshrined for the first time in writing the idea that the executive branch of government (sorry for the anachronism) was forced to yield to what amounted to the first parliament. Roger Valdez, Forbes, 2 May 2022 With apologies to Eddie, the Airplane is our favorite rabbit in pop music history (also, sorry Bunny Wailer). Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Apr. 2022 So sorry to lose this sweet and delightfully funny man. NBC News, 13 Apr. 2022 So sorry to lose this sweet and delightfully funny man. Jessica Wang, EW.com, 12 Apr. 2022 So sorry to lose this sweet and delightfully funny man. Fred Sahai, Billboard, 12 Apr. 2022 Ha ha, sorry everyone—that was an inside joke between me and . . . Eli Coyote Mandel, The New Yorker, 16 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sorry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sorry. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sorry

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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