from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.
  • n. A formal justification or defense.
  • n. An explanation or excuse: "The consequence of those measures will be the best apology for my conduct” ( Daniel Defoe).
  • n. An inferior substitute: The sagging cot was a poor apology for a bed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An expression of remorse or regret for having said or done something that harmed another: an instance of apologizing (saying that one is sorry).
  • n. A formal justification, defence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Something said or written in defense or justification of what appears to others wrong, or of what may be liable to disapprobation; justification.
  • n. An acknowledgment intended as an atonement for some improper or injurious remark or act; an admission to another of a wrong or discourtesy done him, accompanied by an expression of regret.
  • n. Anything provided as a substitute; a makeshift.
  • intransitive v. To offer an apology.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Something said or written in defense, vindication, or excuse; specifically, a defense or justification of a doctrine, system, course of conduct, etc., against objections or criticisms.
  • n. An excuse, usually accompanied by an expression of regret, for some fault.
  • n. That which imperfectly serves a given purpose; a temporary substitute; a makeshift.
  • n. An apologue.
  • n. Synonyms

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a poor example
  • n. an expression of regret at having caused trouble for someone
  • n. a formal written defense of something you believe in strongly


Latin apologia, from Greek apologiā : apo-, apo- + logos, speech; see leg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French apologie, from Late Latin apologia, from Ancient Greek ἀπολογία (apologia, "a speech in defence"), from ἀπολογοῦμαι (apologoumai, "I speak in one's defense"), from ἀπόλογος (apologos, "an account, story"), from ἀπό (apo, "from, off") (see apo-) + λόγος (logos, "speech"). (Wiktionary)



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