Thesaurus

apology

noun

Synonyms of apology

an explanation that frees one from fault or blame
  • her standard apology for her chronic tardiness is the ever-present congestion on the highways

Synonyms for apology

Words Related to apology

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About apology

How does the noun apology contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of apology are alibi, apologia, excuse, plea, and pretext. While all these words mean "matter offered in explanation or defense," apology usually applies to an expression of regret for a mistake or wrong with implied admission of guilt or fault and with or without reference to mitigating or extenuating circumstances.

said by way of apology that he would have met them if he could

When could alibi be used to replace apology?

The meanings of alibi and apology largely overlap; however, alibi implies a desire to shift blame or evade punishment and imputes mere plausibility to the explanation.

his alibi failed to stand scrutiny

When would apologia be a good substitute for apology?

Although the words apologia and apology have much in common, apologia implies not admission of guilt or regret but a desire to make clear the grounds for some course, belief, or position.

his speech was an apologia for his foreign policy

When is excuse a more appropriate choice than apology?

The synonyms excuse and apology are sometimes interchangeable, but excuse implies an intent to avoid or remove blame or censure.

used illness as an excuse for missing the meeting

When might plea be a better fit than apology?

In some situations, the words plea and apology are roughly equivalent. However, plea stresses argument or appeal for understanding or sympathy or mercy.

her usual plea that she was nearsighted

Where would pretext be a reasonable alternative to apology?

While in some cases nearly identical to apology, pretext suggests subterfuge and the offering of false reasons or motives in excuse or explanation.

used any pretext to get out of work

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about apology

Time Traveler for apology

Time Traveler

The first known use of apology was in 1533

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Apology.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/apology. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on apology

Dictionary: Definition of apology

Nglish: Translation of apology for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apology for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about apology

Comments on apology

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!