Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

sorry - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective sorry pronunciation in British English /ˈsɒri/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    used for emphasizing how bad, stupid, or embarrassing something is

    That’s the sorriest excuse I’ve ever heard.

    a sorry business/mess/state (=an unpleasant or difficult situation):

    If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be in this sorry mess.

    1. a.
      used for emphasizing that something is so bad that it makes you feel sympathy

      What a sorry sight they were!

  2. 2
    ashamed, embarrassed, or unhappy about something that you have done

    Tell your sister you’re sorry!

    sorry (that):

    I’m sorry I behaved in such a childish way.

    sorry for:

    He wasn’t sorry for hitting the other boy.

  3. 3
    feeling sadness or sympathy for someone because something bad has happened to them
    sorry about:

    I’m sorry about your losing your job.

    sorry to hear (that):

    I am sorry to hear that your father died.

  4. 4
    disappointed about a situation, and wishing you could change it
    sorry (that):

    I’m sorry you have decided to leave the company.

    We’re sorry you weren’t happy with our service.


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play