Definition of sorry adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsɒri//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɑːri//
    , NAmE//ˈsɔːri//
    (sorrier, sorriest) You can also use more sorry and most sorry. Disappointment
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  1. 1  [not before noun] feeling sad and sympathetic sorry (that)… I'm sorry that your husband lost his job. sorry (to see, hear, etc.) We're sorry to hear that your father's in hospital again. sorry (about something) No one is sorrier than I am about what happened. Express YourselfExpressing sympathyIf someone is ill, or something bad has happened to them, you can show them that you are sorry: I'm sorry you're not well. I hope you feel better soon. I am sorry to hear that. That's bad luck. How awful for you. I'm sorry for your loss (when somebody has died).
  2. 2  [not before noun] feeling sad and ashamed about something that has been done sorry (about something) We're very sorry about the damage to your car. sorry (for something/doing something) He says he's really sorry for taking the car without asking. sorry (that)… She was sorry that she'd lost her temper. If you say you're sorry we'll forgive you. Express YourselfApologizingWhen you have caused a problem for somebody, they are less likely to be very angry if you can make a polite apology: I'm so/​terribly/​very sorry I'm late. I do apologize. I'll get you another cup. I must apologize for keeping you waiting.(British English) We would like to apologize on behalf of the management. We would like to offer/​Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.Responses: That's all right/​OK. No problem. Don't worry about it. It's fine, really. Wordfinderamends, apologize, ashamed, embarrassed, forgive, regret, remorse, repent, sorry, sympathy
  3. 3  [not before noun] feeling disappointed about something and wishing you had done something different or had not done something sorry (that)… She was sorry that she'd lost contact with Mary. You'll be sorry if I catch you! sorry to do something I was genuinely sorry to be leaving college. See related entries: Disappointment
  4. 4[only before noun] very sad or bad, especially making you feel pity or disapproval The business is in a sorry state. They were a sorry sight when they eventually got off the boat.
  5. Word OriginOld English sārig ‘pained, distressed’, of West Germanic origin, from the base of the noun sore. The shortening of the root vowel has given the word an apparent connection with the unrelated sorrow.Extra examples I am sorry to disappoint you. I feel really sorry for John. I’ll make you sorry you were ever born! I’m awfully sorry Jane can’t come with us. I’m sorry about the noise. I’m sorry about your mother. I do hope she’ll soon be feeling better. I’m terribly sorry. I didn’t catch your name. Mitch felt slightly sorry for himself. She is obviously deeply sorry for what she has done. She was almost sorry to stop work. We were incredibly sorry to hear about his death. He says he’s really sorry for taking the car without asking. I’m sorry that your husband lost his job. If you say you’re sorry we’ll forgive you. She was sorry that she’d lost her temper. The business is in a sorry state. We’re sorry to hear that your father’s in hospital again. We’re very sorry about the damage to your car. a sad/​sorry affair/​business/​episode/​story/​tale/​saga/​plight/​sightIdioms
    be/feel sorry for somebody
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     to feel pity or sympathy for somebody He decided to help Jan as he felt sorry for her. See related entries: Unhappiness
    (saying) used to say that it is wiser to be too careful than to act too quickly and do something you may later wish you had not
    feel sorry for yourself
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    (informal, disapproving) to feel unhappy; to pity yourself Stop feeling sorry for yourself and think about other people for a change.
    1. 1  used when you are apologizing for something I'm sorry, I forgot. Oh, I'm sorry. Have I taken the one you wanted? I'm sorry. I can't make it tomorrow.
    2. 2  used for disagreeing with somebody or politely saying ‘no’ I'm sorry, I don't agree. I'm sorry, I'd rather you didn't go.
    3. 3  used for introducing bad news I'm sorry to have to tell you you've failed.
    used for saying that something is disappointing He didn't accept the job, I'm sorry to say.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sorry