View synonyms for sorry


[ sor-ee, sawr-ee ]


, sor·ri·er, sor·ri·est.
  1. 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.

    Synonyms: pitying, sympathetic, regretful

    Antonyms: happy

  2. regrettable or deplorable; unfortunate; tragic:

    a sorry situation; to come to a sorry end.

  3. sorrowful, grieved, or sad:

    Was she sorry when her brother died?

    Synonyms: depressed, unhappy

  4. associated with sorrow; suggestive of grief or suffering; melancholy; dismal.

    Synonyms: painful, mournful, grievous

  5. wretched, poor, useless, or pitiful:

    a sorry horse.

    Synonyms: worthless, paltry, contemptible, abject, shabby


  1. (used as a conventional apology or expression of regret):

    Sorry, you're misinformed. Did I bump you? Sorry.


/ ˈsɒrɪ /


  1. usually postpositiveoften foll byfor feeling or expressing pity, sympathy, remorse, grief, or regret

    I feel sorry for him

  2. pitiful, wretched, or deplorable

    a sorry sight

  3. poor; paltry

    a sorry excuse

  4. affected by sorrow; sad
  5. causing sorrow or sadness


  1. an exclamation expressing apology, used esp at the time of the misdemeanour, offence, etc

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Derived Forms

  • ˈsorrily, adverb
  • ˈsorriness, noun

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Other Words From

  • sorri·ly adverb
  • sorri·ness noun
  • un·sorry adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of sorry1

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English sārig; cognate with Low German sērig, Old High German sērag. See sore, -y 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of sorry1

Old English sārig; related to Old High German sērag; see sore

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Idioms and Phrases

see better safe than sorry .

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

In discussing his two leading characters, he has said, “I didn’t want us to feel sorry for them.”

I’m even more sorry to report that Val Curtis, the British hygiene scholar we interviewed, died in October.

We are truly sorry, but unfortunately, the vaccine supply is not under our control.

To account for travel restrictions between the United States and Canada, the North Division — sorry, the Scotia North Division — is composed of the league’s seven Canadian teams.

To attend and then leave, it is, “I’m sorry, I have to go now.”

Its biggest asset, of course, is the steely Atwell, who never asks you to feel sorry for Carter despite all the sexism around her.

So she lies to the knight, telling him Madalena is sorry and wants him back.

I am so sorry that your parents did this to you, developing their own discriminatory take on your existence.

“Sorry I can't give you more, but at this time our office has no comment,” his spokesman, Sergio Gor, said.

“I feel sorry for what she did to Russ and his daughter,” Gill said.

Bernard was uncomfortable enough not to care to be mocked; but he felt even more sorry that Gordon should be.

"I will," gruffly replied the man, with a look which showed that he was sorry to be forced to choose the second alternative.

He felt very sorry for the Temecula people, the sheriff did; but he had to obey the law himself.

"I am sorry," she replied instead, not saying a word about the poor little toes which the pretty pink lady had crushed.

Meanwhile, as you may well believe, he began to feel very sorry that he had said anything about the verses.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.