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English definition of “sorry”

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sorry

adjective uk   /ˈsɒr.i/ us    /ˈsɔːr-/

sorry adjective (SAD)

A2 [after verb] feeling sadness, sympathy, or disappointment, especially because something unpleasant has happened or been done: I'm just sorry about all the trouble I've caused her. He'd really upset her and he didn't seem at all sorry. [+ (that)] I'm sorry (that) you had such a difficult journey. [+ to infinitive] We were both sorry to hear you've been ill again. I feel so sorry for the children - it must be really hard for them.feel sorry for yourself disapproving to feel sad because you have a problem and you feel that it is not fair that you are suffering so much: He sounded very sorry for himself on the phone.I'm sorry to say used to show that something that must be said causes sadness or disappointment: I'm sorry to say that the project's funding has been cancelled. Most people who start the course do, I'm sorry to say, give up within the first two weeks.
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sorry adjective (APOLOGY)

A1 [after verb] used to say that you wish you had not done what you have done, especially when you want to be polite to someone you have done something bad to: Oh, I'm sorry - I didn't see you there. Tom, I'm so sorry about last night - it was all my fault. I've said I'm sorry.
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sorry adjective (SAYING NO)

I'm sorry
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B2 used to show politeness when refusing something or disagreeing: I'm sorry but I think you've made a mistake. I'm sorry, I can't agree.

sorry adjective (BAD CONDITION)

sorry sight/state/tale a bad condition or situation: He was a sorry sight when he got home - soaking and covered in mud. It's a sorry state of affairs when there isn't any food in the house.

sorry

exclamation uk   /ˈsɒr.i/ us    /ˈsɔːr-/

sorry exclamation (APOLOGY)

used when apologizing for something: "That's my foot you're treading on." "Sorry!"
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sorry exclamation (POLITE NEGATIVE)

used to show politeness when refusing something or disagreeing: Sorry, you can't go in there. mainly UK used when politely asking someone to repeat something or when politely interrupting someone: "He's late." "Sorry?" "I said he's late." Sorry, could you just say that last sentence again please?
(Definition of sorry from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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