General English

  • noun an act of indicating that you are sorry
  • plural noun a statement indicating that you are sorry, especially if you cannot attend a meeting


Media Studies

  • noun a written retraction of something which was printed but has later been found to be inaccurate or to have caused offence


  • noun a statement in which you say you are sorry

Origin & History of “apology”

The original meaning of apology was ‘formal self-justification’, often used as the title of a piece of writing rebutting criticism (as in the Apology of Sir Thomas more, knight 1533). this is indicative of the word’s origins in Greek apologíā, a derivative of the verb apologeisthai ‘speak in one’s defence’, formed from the prefix apo- ‘away, off’ and logos ‘speech’ (source of English logic). It entered English through either French apologie or Latin apologia (which was separately borrowed into English as a Latinism in the late 18th century). The meaning ‘expression of regret for offence given’ developed in the late 16th century.