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 Indians manager Terry Francona was sorry to hear about the injury. Tom Withers, ajc, "Tigers put Miguel Cabrera on IL with biceps strain," 11 Apr. 2021 Spyra has, in other words, hit the big time here (sorry), unlike the characters in her wonderful, unpredictable, and comically dazzling stories, who keep boldly pursuing their dreams only for everything to go hopelessly awry. Brian Boone, Vulture, "The Best Comedy Books of 2021 (So Far)," 7 Apr. 2021 All insults become a BOOmerang (sorry) and bounce back on you. Tyler Stafford, Chron, "An Astros fan's guide to booing every other team in baseball," 1 Apr. 2021 Rose stored over the winter can be prickly — sorry — to get going again. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Don’t wait for spring: Early-bird gardeners get the fattest begonia tubers," 25 Feb. 2021 But the experience of those Games remains fresh, and Holden is sorry this year’s team won’t get the chance to make memories of its own. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, "Why FIFA blocks the U.S. men’s national team from playing for an Olympics spot," 29 Mar. 2021 In the poetic language of Ocean Vuong, the most frequent English word uttered by salon workers is sorry. Genevieve Clutario, Harper's BAZAAR, "It's Time to Reckon with the History of Asian Women in America," 23 Mar. 2021 So sorry to hear of the passing of the wonderful George Segal! Charu Sinha, Vulture, "Actor George Segal Dead at 87," 23 Mar. 2021 Before he was being overthrown by Garoppolo in Super Bowl LIV (sorry about that), Sanders was a Shanahan favorite who enlivened the offense after he was acquired prior to the trade deadline in 2019. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, "Possible 49ers free agent targets: Emmanuel Sanders reunion? Mitchell Trubisky's fit?," 13 Mar. 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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Statistics for sorry

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sorry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sorry. Accessed 18 Apr. 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on sorry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sorry

Nglish: Translation of sorry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sorry for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sorry

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