- feeling regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.: to be sorry to leave one's friends; to be sorry for a remark; to be sorry for someone in trouble.
- regrettable or deplorable; unfortunate; tragic: a sorry situation; to come to a sorry end.
- sorrowful, grieved, or sad: Was she sorry when her brother died?
- associated with sorrow; suggestive of grief or suffering; melancholy; dismal.
- wretched, poor, useless, or pitiful: a sorry horse.
- (used as a conventional apology or expression of regret): Sorry, you're misinformed. Did I bump you? Sorry.
Origin of sorry
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsregret, penitence, sorrow, contrition, grief, guilt, remorse, conscience, compunction, rue, contriteness, attrition, ruth, self-reproach, sorriness
Examples from the Web for sorriness
An odd feeling of sorriness for her step-mother came over Joan.Why Joan?
Eleanor Mercein Kelly
His voice was thick with sorriness, and he could hardly get the words out.Outa Karel's Stories
And her sorriness held her heart warm, in the glow of giving comfort.The Fortieth Door
Mary Hastings Bradley
Perhaps if I told him I knew how wicked I was, the sorriness would come later.Tabitha at Ivy Hall
Ruth Alberta Brown
But she did not tell them of the sorriness of her situation: it might have brought reproach upon him.Tess of the d'Urbervilles
- (usually postpositive often foll by for) feeling or expressing pity, sympathy, remorse, grief, or regretI feel sorry for him
- pitiful, wretched, or deplorablea sorry sight
- poor; paltrya sorry excuse
- affected by sorrow; sad
- causing sorrow or sadness
- an exclamation expressing apology, used esp at the time of the misdemeanour, offence, etc
Word Origin and History for sorriness
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.
Idioms and Phrases with sorriness
see better safe than sorry.