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 This bleak data has become a default narrative for the CMO position, with many of us in marketing and media serving to perpetuate it as the sorry state of affairs. Seth Matlins, Forbes, 17 June 2022 Um, those applications cost $20,000 and then companies, uh, that run the sports betting and kiosk that appear in certain businesses with liquor licenses, like bars, casinos are sorry, bars, restaurants, and bowling alleys can also apply. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 16 June 2022 Even though Parker arrived at Tri-County Humane in sorry shape, the rescue refused to give up on the dog. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 15 June 2022 Eventually, staff at a nearby McDonald’s, apparently feeling sorry for us, took orders and brought them over. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 14 June 2022 The move away from interventionism has drawn criticism from hawks who remain committed to strategies that forefront military action and American dominance around the world, despite that approach’s sorry track record. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 13 June 2022 That’s nice for them, but in the words of an extremely important meme: Not reading all that, happy for you or sorry that happened. Emma Specter, Vogue, 31 May 2022 All that being said, Dixon is very clear on why people are upset and is sorry about it. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, 18 May 2022 If readers feel sorry for Theo and Jarret without really needing to believe in them as whole beings, what exactly do their portraits accomplish? Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic, 10 June 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

Learn More About sorry

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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Statistics for sorry

Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sorry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sorry. Accessed 30 Jun. 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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