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[uh-pol-uh-jet-ik] /əˌpɒl əˈdʒɛt ɪk/
containing an apology or excuse for a fault, failure, insult, injury, etc.:
An apologetic letter to his creditors explained the delay.
defending by speech or writing.
willing or eager to apologize.
sorry; regretful.
Also, apologetical.
Origin of apologetic
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English apologetik a formal defense (< Middle French) < Late Latin apologēticus written defense, defensive < Greek apologētikós fit for defense, equivalent to apologē- (variant stem of apologeîsthai to speak in defense; see apologia) + -tikos -tic
Related forms
apologetically, adverb
nonapologetic, adjective
nonapologetical, adjective
nonapologetically, adverb
pseudoapologetic, adjective
pseudoapologetically, adverb
quasi-apologetic, adjective
quasi-apologetically, adverb
unapologetic, adjective
unapologetically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for apologetically
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "That's what they got over the telephone," said Scottie apologetically.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • "I thought I'd come back and tell you," said Bob Lewis, apologetically.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • "I kinda fergot it wasn't nothin' but a pitcher," he stammered, apologetically.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • "I'll just lay all this gorgeousness aside," said he apologetically.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • "It's too hot to do much of anything," he said apologetically.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • "Don't mind my talkin' foolishness," he said, apologetically.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • "I only wanted to make sure that I was right," she said, apologetically.

    Pretty Madcap Dorothy Laura Jean Libbey
  • “It did roll onto the floor that time,” said Mr. Critz apologetically.

British Dictionary definitions for apologetically


expressing or anxious to make apology; contrite
protecting or defending in speech or writing
Derived Forms
apologetically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for apologetically



1640s, "vindicatory," from French apologétique, from Latin apologeticus, from Greek apologetikos "defensible," from apologeisthai (see apology). Meaning "regretfully acknowledging failure" is from 1855. As a noun, "formal defense," from early 15c. Related: Apologetics (c.1753).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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