• synonyms


verb (used without object), a·pol·o·gized, a·pol·o·giz·ing.
  1. to offer an apology or excuse for some fault, insult, failure, or injury: He apologized for accusing her falsely.
  2. to make a formal defense in speech or writing.
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Also especially British, a·pol·o·gise.

Origin of apologize

First recorded in 1590–1600; apolog(y) + -ize
Related formsa·pol·o·giz·er, nounre·a·pol·o·gize, verb (used with object), re·a·pol·o·gized, re·a·pol·o·giz·ing.un·a·pol·o·giz·ing, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.

  • 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 (intr)
  1. to express or make an apology; acknowledge failings or faults
  2. to make a formal defence in speech or writing
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Derived Formsapologizer or 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

Word Origin and History for apologise


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

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper