noun, plural a·pol·o·gies.
- a written or spoken expression of one’s regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, or wronged another: He demanded an apology from me for calling him a crook.
- a defense, excuse, or justification in speech or writing, as for a cause or doctrine.
- (initial capital letter, italics) a dialogue by Plato, centering on Socrates’ defense before the tribunal that condemned him to death.
- an inferior specimen or substitute; makeshift: The tramp wore a sad apology for a hat.
noun plural -gies
- an oral or written expression of regret or contrition for a fault or failing
- a poor substitute or offering
- another word for
early 15c., “defense, justification,” from Late Latin apologia, from Greek apologia “a speech in defense,” from apologeisthai “to speak in one’s defense,” from apologos “an account, story,” from apo- “from, off” (see ) + logos “speech” (see (n.)).
The original English sense of “self-justification” yielded a meaning “frank expression of regret for wrong done,” first recorded 1590s, but this was not the main sense until 18c. The old sense tends to emerge in Latin form apologia (first attested in English 1784), especially since J.H. Newman’s “Apologia pro Vita Sua” (1864).