Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sorry”

See all translations

sorry

adjective  /ˈsɑr·i, ˈsɔr·i/ us  

sorry adjective (ASKING FORGIVENESS)

feeling bad because you have caused trouble or difficulty to someone else: [+ (that) clause] I’m really sorry (that) I forgot about our appointment yesterday. Sorry is also used as a polite way to show your sympathy to someone because of a loss, problem, or trouble the person has had: [+ to infinitive] We were sorry to learn about the death of your grandmother. Sorry is also used as a polite way of asking someone to excuse you for having done something that might have annoyed the person: The train will be moving shortly – we are sorry for the inconvenience.

sorry adjective (POLITE REFUSAL)

used as a polite way of expressing refusal or disagreement: I’m sorry, but I think you’ve made a mistake in our check. Sorry, you can’t go in there.

sorry adjective (BAD CONDITION)

[-er/-est only] dated so bad as to cause feelings of sympathy: They were a sorry sight, dressed in rags and so weak they could hardly stand up. Note: describing a situation or condition
(Definition of sorry from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of sorry?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “sorry” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More