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[uh-pol-uh-jahyz] /əˈpɒl əˌdʒaɪz/
verb (used without object), apologized, apologizing.
to offer an apology or excuse for some fault, insult, failure, or injury:
He apologized for accusing her falsely.
to make a formal defense in speech or writing.
Also, especially British, apologise.
Origin of apologize
First recorded in 1590-1600; apolog(y) + -ize
Related forms
apologizer, noun
reapologize, verb (used with object), reapologized, reapologizing.
unapologizing, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for apologise
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If I can find them I will forward them by you; if not, you must apologise for me.

  • I told you I did not like to apologise, so you may know how sorry I am.

    One Day's Courtship Robert Barr
  • She seemed to apologise and at the same time to say to me, "If only you knew!"

    Monday or Tuesday Virginia Woolf
  • No message came from Henry; perhaps he expected her to apologise.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • Though he would build up his life without hers, she could not apologise.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
British Dictionary definitions for apologise


verb (intransitive)
to express or make an apology; acknowledge failings or faults
to make a formal defence in speech or writing
Derived Forms
apologizer, apologiser, noun
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 apologise

chiefly British English spelling of apologize; for suffix, see -ize. Related: Apologised; apologising.



1590s, "to speak in defense of;" see apology + -ize. Main modern sense "to regretfully acknowledge" is attested by 1725. The Greek equivalent, apologizesthai, meant simply "to give an account." Related: Apologized; apologizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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