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 a·pol·o·get·i·cal.

Origin of apologetic

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 formsa·pol·o·get·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·a·pol·o·get·ic, adjectivenon·a·pol·o·get·i·cal, adjectivenon·a·pol·o·get·i·cal·ly, adverbpseu·do·a·pol·o·get·ic, adjectivepseu·do·a·pol·o·get·i·cal·ly, adverbqua·si-a·pol·o·get·ic, adjectivequa·si-a·pol·o·get·i·cal·ly, adverbun·a·pol·o·get·ic, adjectiveun·a·pol·o·get·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for apologetically

meanly, obscurely, poorly, simply, abjectly, submissively

Examples from the Web for apologetically

Contemporary Examples of apologetically

Historical Examples of apologetically

  • "That's what they got over the telephone," said Scottie apologetically.

  • "I thought I'd come back and tell you," said Bob Lewis, apologetically.


    W. A. Fraser

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

  • "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

British Dictionary definitions for apologetically



expressing or anxious to make apology; contrite
protecting or defending in speech or writing
Derived Formsapologetically, 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

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