Definition of sorry in English:

sorry

Line breaks: sorry
Pronunciation: /ˈsɒri
 
/

adjective (sorrier, sorriest)

1 [predicative] Feeling sad or distressed through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune: I was sorry to hear about what happened to your family
More example sentences
  • We are very sorry that Mrs Collins has experienced distress, and we are still waiting to establish the facts.
  • One juror identified as Roy said a lot of people want you to have sympathy for her and feel sorry.
  • I am sorry to hear of your distress, but I assure you that this is not an uncommon problem.
Synonyms
1.1 (sorry for) Filled with compassion for: I felt sorry for the poor boys working for him
More example sentences
  • Yes, we felt sorry for those figures huddled in shop doorways, particularly on an icy night.
  • I just feel really sorry for her because her life's never going to be the same.
  • Adjacent is a little caravan site, and this is the only time I have ever felt sorry for caravaners.
2 [predicative] Feeling regret or penitence: he said he was sorry he had upset me I’m sorry if I was a bit brusque
More example sentences
  • ‘I am sorry for Mrs McCabe and I'm sorry her husband was killed - we have no argument with her,’ Mr Adams added.
  • They are sorry for the inconvenience to customers, but not that sorry.
  • I'm sorry for being so damned insensitive in the first place, and I'm sorry about the whole Steve thing.
Synonyms
2.1Used to express apology: sorry—I was trying not to make a noise
More example sentences
  • I may post more later, if I can sort out my thoughts better (my brain is slush at the moment, sorry!)
  • But if pre-Christians come expecting God - sorry!
  • And I lost his answer, sorry!
2.2Used as a polite request that someone should repeat something that one has failed to hear or understand: I’m sorry—you were saying?
More example sentences
  • So sorry, just to understand your question, if an ET1 is received, what would we like to be doing immediately?
3 [attributive] In a poor or pitiful state: he looks a sorry sight with his broken jaw
More example sentences
  • A neglected garden is a sorry sight and a poor producer.
  • Pity instead the poor public, those sorry souls into whose lives the media machine has pumped a decade's worth of pouting.
  • You've proved that your a bunch of sorry pitiful bastards.
Synonyms
pitiful, pitiable, heart-rending, distressing; unfortunate, wretched, unhappy, unlucky, disastrous, calamitous, regrettable, mortifying, shameful, awful
3.1Unpleasant and regrettable, especially on account of incompetence or misbehaviour: we feel so ashamed that we keep quiet about the whole sorry business
More example sentences
  • Add to these charges the negligence and incompetence shown throughout this sorry affair.
  • Update: that was just me moaning because my bank account was in a sorry state.
  • There then follows the sorry account, previously reported in these sports pages, of an Italian sausage and a brutal beating from a Pittsburgh Pirate.

Origin

Old English sārig 'pained, distressed', of West Germanic origin, from the base of the noun sore. The shortening of the root vowel has given the word an apparent connection with the unrelated sorrow.

Phrases

sorry for oneself

Sad and self-pitying: he was sorry for himself in his hopeless loneliness
More example sentences
  • As I once observed: ‘There's a real difference between feeling sorry for yourself and feeling your sorrow.’
  • He waited for her, feeling sorry for himself and miserable with his own thoughts about how he had mistrusted her.
  • If things don't work out the way you intended, there's no point feeling sorry for yourself; you get up, dust yourself down and get on with it.

Derivatives

sorrily

adverb
More example sentences
  • I dropped an old email account over a year ago and have sorrily been missing the newsletter!
  • Or, to exhaust this vein of sorrily mixed metaphor, a rare bird.
  • If they feel that students have had a chance to comment and have not because they have not emailed them, they are sorrily mistaken.

sorriness

noun
More example sentences
  • Despite his injuries, Jared has a very uplifting outlook on life - deal with it, otherwise you will live in a perpetual state of sorriness for yourself.
  • Moreover the figure at hand suffers on such occasion because it shows up its sorriness without shade; while vague figures afar off are honoured in that their distance makes artistic virtues of their stains.
  • Much sorriness for the rift between the lovers.

Definition of sorry in:

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Pronunciation: ˌɪmpjʊˈdɪsɪti
noun
lack of modesty