Definition of apologetic in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˌpäləˈjedik/


1Regretfully acknowledging or excusing an offense or failure: she was very apologetic about the whole incident
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.
1.1Of the nature of a formal defense or justification of something such as a theory or religious 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 defense or justification): from French apologétique or late Latin apologeticus, from Greek apologētikos, from apologeisthei 'speak in one's own defense', from apologia (see apology). The current sense dates from the mid 19th century.

Words that rhyme with apologetic

aesthetic (US esthetic), alphabetic, anaesthetic (US anesthetic), antithetic, apathetic, arithmetic, ascetic, athletic, balletic, bathetic, cosmetic, cybernetic, diabetic, dietetic, diuretic, electromagnetic, emetic, energetic, exegetic, frenetic, genetic, Helvetic, hermetic, homiletic, kinetic, magnetic, metic, mimetic, parenthetic, pathetic, peripatetic, phonetic, photosynthetic, poetic, prophetic, prothetic, psychokinetic, splenetic, sympathetic, syncretic, syndetic, synthetic, telekinetic, theoretic, zetetic

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Syllabification: a·pol·o·get·ic

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