Apologetic – Definition & Meaning


Apologetic is a term that is often used in everyday language, but its meaning and associations may not always be clear. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of apologetic, its origin, and its use in different contexts.


The term apologetic is often used to describe someone who is expressing regret or asking for forgiveness. It can also refer to someone who is making excuses for their behavior or actions. In a more formal context, apologetic can refer to a branch of theology that deals with the defense of religious doctrines.


The term apologetic comes from the Greek word apologia, which means defense or justification. The term was first used in the context of religious discourse, where it referred to the defense of religious beliefs against criticism or attack.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, apologetic means “regretfully acknowledging or excusing an offense or failure.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines apologetic as “expressing regret or remorse for one’s actions, words, or attitudes.”


The term apologetic is often associated with humility and contrition. It is often used to describe someone who is willing to admit their mistakes and take responsibility for their actions. In religious contexts, apologetic can be associated with the defense of faith and the willingness to engage in dialogue with those who hold different beliefs.


Some synonyms for apologetic include regretful, remorseful, contrite, penitent, and sorry.


Antonyms for apologetic include unrepentant, defiant, and unapologetic.

The same root words

The term apologetic shares its root with the word apology, which also comes from the Greek apologia. Apology is often used to refer to an expression of regret or remorse, but it can also refer to a formal defense or justification of one’s actions.

Example Sentences

  1. After realizing the harm he had caused, he was apologetic and asked for forgiveness.
  2. The politician’s apology seemed more like an apologetic attempt to save face than a sincere expression of regret.
  3. The apologetic tone of his voice indicated that he knew he had made a mistake.
  4. The apologetic letter he wrote to his ex-girlfriend was an attempt to make amends for his past behavior.
  5. The apologetic stance of the religious leader showed a willingness to engage in dialogue with those who held different beliefs.

In conclusion, apologetic is a term that can be used in a variety of contexts, from expressing regret or remorse to defending one’s beliefs. Understanding the meaning and associations of apologetic can help us better navigate social and religious interactions, and can also help us develop a greater sense of humility and contrition in our personal lives.

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