Definition of apologetic in English:


Line breaks: apolo|get¦ic
Pronunciation: /əpɒləˈdʒɛtɪk


1Expressing or showing regretful acknowledgement of an offence or failure: she was very apologetic about the whole incident an apologetic smile
More example sentences
  • The typist smiles to himself as the story returns like an apologetic lover, penitent, regretful and contrite.
  • Defending, the lawyer said his client was apologetic and very much regretted the incident.
  • ‘As much as I would love to, I have already made plans, sorry,’ I said, giving him an apologetic smile.
2Constituting a formal defence or justification of a theory or doctrine: the apologetic proposition that production for profit is the same thing as production for need
More example sentences
  • The apologetic justification of church division has in many cases been a source of heated confessional intolerance.
  • There are not several types of sermons, for example, expository, historical, doctrinal, moral, apologetic, and topical.
  • Perhaps the most distasteful element of Romance is its attempt to justify its sexual explicitness with these vaguely apologetic ruminations on the mind/body split.


late Middle English (as a noun denoting a formal justification): from French apologétique or late Latin apologeticus, from Greek apologētikos, from apologeisthei 'speak in one's own defence', from apologia (see apology). The current sense dates from the mid 19th century.



More example sentences
  • She speaks apologetically when she says she can't replace the specialist teachers and carers in her son's life.
  • He shrugged his shoulders apologetically and walked away.
  • Often, he apologetically requests his passengers to show him the way.

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