Meaning of “sorry” - Learner’s Dictionary


adjective us uk /ˈsɒri/
(I'm) sorry

B2 something that you say to be polite when you have done something wrong, or when you cannot agree with someone or accept something:

Sorry I'm late.
Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't see you there.
Tom, I'm so sorry about last night - it was all my fault.
I'm sorry, but I just don't think it's a good idea.

More examples


A2 used to show sympathy or sadness for a person or situation:

I feel sorry for the children - it must be very hard for them.
I was sorry to hear about your brother's accident.
[ + (that) ] I'm sorry that things didn't work out for you.
Sorry? mainly UK

used as a polite way to say that you did not hear what someone has just said:

Sorry? What was that?

used to say that you wish something in the past had not happened or had been different:

[ + (that) ] I'm sorry that I ever met him.
a sorry sight/state/tale

a bad condition or situation:

Her car was in a sorry state after the accident.

(Definition of “sorry” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)