Definitions

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

  • adj. Feeling or expressing sympathy, pity, or regret: I'm sorry I'm late.
  • adj. Worthless or inferior; paltry: a sorry excuse.
  • adj. Causing sorrow, grief, or misfortune; grievous: a sorry development.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Regretful for an action; grieved or saddened, especially by the loss of something or someone.
  • adj. Poor, sad or regrettable.
  • interj. Expresses regret, remorse, or sorrow.
  • interj. Used as a request for someone to repeat something not heard or understood clearly.
  • n. The act of saying sorry; an apology.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Grieved for the loss of some good; pained for some evil; feeling regret; -- now generally used to express light grief or affliction, but formerly often used to express deeper feeling.
  • adj. Melancholy; dismal; gloomy; mournful.
  • adj. Poor; mean; worthless.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Feeling sorrow; grieved; sorrowful; unhappy; sad; pained; especially, feeling repentance or regret: noting either deep or slight, prolonged or transient, emotion.
  • Causing sorrow; painful; grievous; mournful.
  • Associated with sorrow; suggestive of grief or suffering; melancholy; dismal.
  • Vile; wretched; worthless; mean; paltry; poor.
  • Synonyms Vexed, chagrined.
  • Pitiful, shabby.
  • To sorrow; grieve.

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

  • adj. causing dejection
  • adj. feeling or expressing regret or sorrow or a sense of loss over something done or undone
  • adj. bad; unfortunate
  • adj. without merit

Etymologies

Middle English sori, from Old English sārig, sad, from sār, sore.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English sory, from Old English sāriġ ("feeling or expressing grief, sorry, grieved, sorrowful, sad, mournful, bitter"), from Proto-Germanic *sairagaz (“sad”), from Proto-Indo-European *sayǝw- (“hard, rough, painful”). Cognate with Low German serig ("sick, scabby"), German dialectal sehrig ("sore, sad, painful"). More at sore. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I think I messed up, so sorry guys, $sorry bolne mein koi sharam nahiless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®Salman Khan

    John Mayer quits Twitter. Where do Twitter accounts go when they die?

  • Taylor Swift-Mary's Song (Oh, My My My) lyrics [Good Quality!] *** sorry people in US, somethin about copyright stuff, so they blocked our country DX sorry*** I noticed that all the songs uploaded sounded kinda weird, so I took matters into my own hands (c) 2006 Big Machines Records I DO NOT OWN THIS SONG!

    WN.com - Financial News

  • Taylor Swift-Mary's Song (Oh, My My My) lyrics [Good Quality!] *** sorry people in US, somethin about copyright stuff, so they blocked our country DX sorry***

    WN.com - Financial News

  • Don't be sorry - I am not - this is a fact - Tracy's essence is gritty - noir - shadowy - a sorry-*** character.

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  • "Oh," said the girl, impulsively taming toward him, her face very red, "I am so sorry, I am so _sorry_!

    The Law of the Land

  • But I should be so sorry, -- _so sorry_ for you. "

    The Mill on the Floss

  • I think I messed up, so sorry guys, $sorry bolne mein koi sharam nahi. "

    The Times of India

  • I was curious does anyone do family gatherings during the holidays perhaps Thanksgiving or Christmas (* insert other holiday gathering sorry there are so many during that time of year sorry*?

    Wrong Planet Asperger / Autism Forums

  • I agree that just saying your sorry is the best thing.

    Rejoice With Those Who Rejoice

  • That made still another inflection of the word sorry.

    The Final Reflection

Comments

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  • It's not that Canadians have 100 words for 'Sorry', but rather that Canadians use 'Sorry' in place of other words... such as 'excuse me','watch where you're going','hey' http://www.queensu.ca/strathy/publications/volume8/Barr-Gillberry-Wp8.pdf

    December 14, 2013

  • To paraphrase Robert Orben
    'Illegal aliens have always been a problem in Australia. Ask any Aborigine.'

    February 1, 2008

  • On February 13, the first item of business in Australia's recently elected 42nd parliament will be an official apology from the Government to Australia's indigenous people, containing the critical word 'sorry'.

    It will be a recognition of past sins, an affirmation of progress, and a commitment to substantially improving the appalling social and economic gaps between Aboriginals and other Australians.

    February 13 becomes a day of reprieve, offered by the too rapid passage of time. Australians everywhere can be proud that we finally have a government committed to redressing this stain on our national conscience. Decades from now, this will be remembered as the day the nation finally matured.

    February 1, 2008