n. pl. a·pol·o·gies
1. An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense: Please accept my apology for being so late.
a. A formal justification or defense.
b. An explanation or excuse: "The consequence of those measures will be the best apology for my conduct" (Daniel Defoe).
3. An inferior substitute: The sagging cot was a poor apology for a bed.
[Latin apologia, from Greek apologiā : apo-, apo- + logos, speech; see leg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: apology, apologia, defense, justification
These nouns denote a statement that excuses or defends something, such as a past action or a policy: Their arguments amounted to an apology for capital punishment. The senators' apologia explained why they changed their position. We produced evidence in defense of the policy. Reducing energy costs was our main justification for replacing the windows.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.