Definition of apologize in US English:


(British apologise)


[no object]
  • Express regret for something that one has done wrong.

    ‘I must apologize for disturbing you like this’
    ‘we apologize to him for our error’
    • ‘He apologised to the victims who were injured, and regretted the consequences of his actions.’
    • ‘At this point the first woman went beetroot red and began apologizing and stuttering something about not meaning any offence.’
    • ‘He never specifically admits wrongdoings, but if anyone was offended, he apologizes.’
    • ‘The family regrets and apologizes for the omission in the previous obituary.’
    • ‘We deeply regret our misguided support and apologize for our previous email.’
    • ‘There is nothing humble in living below our best, apologizing, as it were, for our existence.’
    • ‘I informed him that I had come back to apologize for the wrong I had done, if he would permit me to do so.’
    • ‘Then the waitress came back and took the latte away, apologising for bringing me the wrong coffee.’
    • ‘The webmaster was apologising to his readers for having printed wrong information.’
    • ‘It says even more when he apologizes to people whom he hasn't wronged, and doesn't apologize to those whom he has.’
    • ‘If I scold her for something, most of the time she genuinely apologizes.’
    • ‘She apologizes for being late, saying that she ‘miscalculated the traffic’.’
    • ‘His staff are striving to find a form of words to allow him to express his regret without officially apologising for the debacle.’
    • ‘Should he have mentioned that he was specifically apologizing to the alleged victim?’
    • ‘He had taken a huge leap, seeking her out to apologize to her and admit that he had been wrong.’
    • ‘We deeply regret that this ad ran and we apologize if some individuals have been offended by its content.’
    • ‘We will apologize to those customers affected and regret this mistake.’
    • ‘Humility has nothing to do with grovelling, or apologizing for one's existence.’
    • ‘No one is charged, no one is apologizing and no one is certain what happens next.’
    • ‘This from a man who can't apologise for the big stuff he has got horribly wrong.’
    say sorry, express regret, be apologetic, make an apology, ask forgiveness, beg forgiveness, beg someone's forgiveness, ask for pardon, beg pardon, beg someone's pardon
    View synonyms


Late 16th century (in the sense ‘make a defensive argument’): from Greek apologizesthai ‘give an account’, from apologos (see apologue). In English the verb has always been used as if it were a direct derivative of apology.