When a man has crossed the water-shed of forty, his power of recuperation is sorrily reduced.
What had been so basely striven for was sorrily won at last.
Of these, the Brunswickers and Hanoverians behaved very well; the Belgians but sorrily enough.
It is thus that ideals die; not in the conventional pageantry of honoured death, but sorrily, ignobly, while one's head is turned.
Old English sarig "distressed, grieved, full of sorrow" (not found in the physical sense of "sore"), from Proto-Germanic *sairiga- "painful" (cf. Old Saxon serag, Middle Dutch seerigh "sore; sad, sorry," Dutch zeerig "sore, full of sores," Old High German serag, Swedish sårig "sore, full of sores"), from *sairaz "pain" (physical and mental); related to *saira- "suffering, sick, ill" (see sore (adj.)). Meaning "wretched, worthless, poor" first recorded mid-13c. Spelling shift from -a- to -o- by influence of sorrow. Apologetic sense (short for I'm sorry) is attested from 1834; phrase sorry about that popularized 1960s by U.S. TV show "Get Smart." Related: Sorrily; sorriness.
Wretched; worthless; inferior; half-assed: this one kid, and he was a sorry shit/ The reputation of the Barclay has been one of sorry-ass service/ One more sorry-ass useless killing (entry form 1250+, variant 1970s+)