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or (especially British) apologise

[uh-pol-uh-jahyz] /əˈpɒl əˌdʒaɪz/
verb (used without object), apologized, apologizing.
to offer an apology or excuse for some fault, insult, failure, or injury:
He apologized for accusing her falsely.
to make a formal defense in speech or writing.
Origin of apologize
1590-1600; apolog(y) + -ize
Related forms
apologizer, noun
reapologize, verb (used with object), reapologized, reapologizing.
unapologizing, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for apologise
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To strangers whom Cassowary has never loved and would now assault with spear and nulla-nulla, they apologise.

    Tropic Days E. J. Banfield
  • I told you I did not like to apologise, so you may know how sorry I am.

    One Day's Courtship Robert Barr
  • The weariness of the long labour must often apologise for languor, where the claims of the matter are less importunate.

  • She seemed to apologise and at the same time to say to me, "If only you knew!"

    Monday or Tuesday Virginia Woolf
  • The fact that they have offered to apologise will no doubt be a point in their favour.

    Dr. Wortle's School Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for apologise


verb (intransitive)
to express or make an apology; acknowledge failings or faults
to make a formal defence in speech or writing
Derived Forms
apologizer, apologiser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for apologise

chiefly British English spelling of apologize; for suffix, see -ize. Related: Apologised; apologising.



1590s, "to speak in defense of;" see apology + -ize. Main modern sense "to regretfully acknowledge" is attested by 1725. The Greek equivalent, apologizesthai, meant simply "to give an account." Related: Apologized; apologizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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