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From French apologie, from Late Latin apologia, from Ancient Greek ἀπολογία (apología, a speech in defence), from ἀπολογοῦμαι (apologoûmai, I speak in my defense), from ἀπόλογος (apólogos, an account, story), from ἀπό (apó, from, off) (see apo-) + λόγος (lógos, speech). Doublet of apologia. By surface analysis, apo- +‎ -logy





apology (plural apologies)

  1. An expression of remorse or regret for having said or done something that harmed another: an instance of apologizing (saying that one is sorry).
    What he said really hurt my feelings, but his apology sounded so sincere that I couldn't help but forgive him.
    The CEO made a public apology for the scandal, and promised full cooperation with the authorities.
  2. A formal justification, defence.
    Synonym: apologia
    the Apology of Socrates
  3. Anything provided as a substitute; a makeshift.
    a poor apology for a hotel room
    • 1852 March – 1853 September, Charles Dickens, chapter 20, in Bleak House, London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1853, →OCLC:
      [He] goes to work devising apologies for window curtains.
    • 1947 January and February, Cecil J. Allen, “British Locomotive Practice and Performance”, in Railway Magazine, page 39:
      The response to firing is remarkable, and though the 280 lb. pressure seems more in the nature of a reserve for emergencies than a continuous working figure, even with the present-day apology for coal it seldom fell below 250 lb., and could always be brought up to blowing-off point with little difficulty. To this liveliness of steaming the thermic syphons are doubtless the chief contributory.

Derived terms



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Further reading