Definition Of Sorry That Will Surprise You

The definition of sorry, its uses, and importance you need to know. Have you ever said sorry to someone before? Or has anyone ever said sorry to you? Either intentionally or unintentionally, we have often used the word ‘sorry.’

Sometimes, to apologize for our wrongdoings or on behalf of a person, we say sorry. But reading and knowing more about the definition of sorry will guide you into achieving the best out of your sorry approach. But don’t you think doing so with the meaning of sorry written boldly on our minds would be more appropriate? In this piece, you get to know the meaning of sorry and what it means for the different occasions you have used it.

1.     The Meaning of Sorry and How people Use it Differently

The meaning or definition of sorry is a word sorry has or bears its origin from different sources.

According to Middle English, Sorry comes from the old English word “Sārig”, which means “to feel or express grief, sorry, sorrowful, mournful, bitter and sad.”

Proto-West Germany used the word “airbag” from Proto-Germanic called sorry “sairagaz”, which means “sad.”

The Proto-Indo-European word “sayaw” means hard, rough, and painful.

Let’s now look at the meaning of sorry and the instances where people use it.

Sorry means to apologize to someone or feel bad for what you have done or for what you feel should not have happened to a person.

Examples of how to use sorry and what it means

  • You say “sorry,” or I am sorry as a way of asking for forgiveness for what you did that made a person or group of persons angry or when you hit them mistakenly.

Example: Sorry, I came late.

  • When you regret a problem or are unhappy or feel saddened by it. You say, “sorry.” I’m sure the definition of sorry in this article is helping out..

Example: He is truly sorry for the trouble he has caused your family.

  • During a conversation, especially when you are about to say something you feel the person might not want to hear, you can use, “I am sorry” or “sorry.”

Example: Sorry, I do not agree with you on this one.

  • You say I am sorry to affirm that you feel regretful when you hear bad news.

Example: I am sorry for the incident.

  • When you feel sorry for someone who is not happy or in a horrible dilemma, you have a feeling of sadness and sympathy for them.

Example: I felt really sad for him and his family; the death of his wife must be very difficult for them to accept.

  • Sorry is also used when people feel sorry for themselves; when a person keeps thinking about their problems and tends to be demoralized instead of thinking about their brighter side of life.

Example: He must not be sorry for himself all the time.

  • When you want someone to say something, you heard them say earlier, again, you say sorry.

Example: Sorry, can you say that again?

  • You say sorry when you correct yourself by saying the same thing you have said using different words.
  • If a person is in a state of sorry, the person is in a bad state, mentally or physically.         

2.     Why is it Important that You say Sorry?

We have learned the etymology of sorry and the meaning of sorry. We also studied the examples as well and their various synonyms. It is also important to note that the word sorry has over 99 synonyms to replace sorry perfectly. Why, then, know the meaning of a word without knowing its importance?

  • For reconnection: Sorry it can heal relationships and turn enemies into friends. After a fight, dispute or disagreement, friends can choose to apologize to each other and get talking again. It also makes people feel you don’t have pride.
  • For self-improvement: Your willingness to apologize is proof that one is taking practical steps and intentionally improving oneself.
  • For business growth: a man tends to give affection where he receives attention. Therefore, whenever a customer is delayed or complains about services, it would be wise to apologize before attending to or resolving a complaint.
  • For mutual benefits: Knowing how say sorry and the power behind it is a sure way of gaining mututal benefits in an amzing way. Saying sorry does not benefit only you, the hurt person or persons; sorry helps them restore their lost dignity and erase the stinging pain.
  • For self-realization: When you say sorry to a hurt person, it makes you realize and recognize that others need to be treated with courtesy and respect too.

As much as sorry is a positive word, people can also use it negatively; this is when one promises you to change after saying sorry, that’s the more reason you should know the definition of sorry. And the person still hurts you or does the same thing he promised not to do. In this case, sorry is used negatively.

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Abusing the Word Sorry and its Antonyms

To abuse a word is to overuse or use it for the wrong reasons. Therefore, is it possible to overuse the word sorry or use it for the wrong reasons?

Yes, it is likely to abuse the word sorry by either overusing or using it for the wrong reasons. To use sorry for the wrong reasons is to say lurker in an excuse or say sorry to avoid disagreement. But, saying sorry or apologizing always could weaken your self-esteem and impair your authority.

People who apologize or say sorry all the time can be traced to having the sorry syndrome. The sorry syndrome is a situation where they say sorry even when the circumstance is clearly above your control. Usually, these people also have low self-esteem.

For example: They can even say sorry for breathing, or I’m sorry it rained heavily today, oh the sun came out late today, I am sorry for that.

The sorry syndrome is a situation that is clearly above those who have it. It happens unconsciously.

To fix this syndrome, try removing sorry from your sentences and replacing them with other words.

Antonyms of Sorry

Antonyms are the direct opposite of a word. Hence, the antonyms of sorry are the direct opposite. Let’s review the antonyms of sorry together.

These antonyms which are explained in The Free Dictionary are cheerful, happy, glad, unrepentant, unapologetic, impenitent, remorseful, unashamed, not ashamed, indifferent, unconcerned, heartless, not compassionate, unmoved, unsympathetic, and unpitying, etc.

3.     What Saying Sorry Means for Traumatic People

The above discussion on sorry was for people who do not have mental disabilities, either temporarily or permanently. For those who do, the meaning of sorry could be a little different for them.

Traumatized people have been depressed to the point that it leads them to serious emotional troubles. These people apologize for their existence, the challenges they face in life, etc. This definition of sorry would prove to the more that, their situation is not permanent.

When we take our time to apologize to them sincerely, they might seem to come around.

Why do People find it Difficult to say Sorry?

To truly apologize to a person or say sorry from your heart, you have to become like the person you are apologizing to; by this, I mean you will have to feel what the person is feeling at that particular time.

For example: When you apologize to a grieving person, recall what made you grieve at a particular time. Putting yourself in their shoes will make your apology most effective.

However, people who find it difficult to say sorry to a fellow human do not sympathize. They do not know what their fellow humans are going through.

These people let their pride take the better part of them. They have an ego that they find difficult to let go of.

And of course, as stated earlier, saying sorry is difficult because it requires you to put yourself in the victim’s shoes first. This means you will become vulnerable and in danger of losing your status or self-esteem. That’s a sacrifice they are not willing to offer.


We began this article to look at the meaning of sorry.

We first looked at the etymology of sorry, which is the word’s origin.

We talked about its Germanic and European origin, citing the words used in place of sorry, which was established in the definition of sorry in this article.

In our first paragraph, we defined the meaning of sorry as a way of apologizing to the people we have hurt either intentionally or not or feeling pity for someone who has experienced a difficult situation. This is an understandable definition of sorry ever.

We moved on different ways or situations that required us to say sorry. We did this with examples, and over twenty synonyms were given.

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Defining synonyms, we said words that are nearest to meaning to sorry, e.g., apologize

Moving on, we looked at the importance of saying sorry. We said it heals relationships builds self-esteem and speaks well of a person.

Furthermore, the possibility of abusing the word sorry and overusing the word was reviewed with examples. Antonyms that are the direct opposite of a word were reviewed with examples such as cheerful. Saying sorry and what it means for the traumatic people was well-reviewed too.

Finally, we looked at why people find it difficult to say sorry and linked It to pride, ego.

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