sor·ry (sŏrē, sôrē)
adj. sor·ri·er, sor·ri·est
a. Feeling or expressing sorrow: We're sorry to hear that you're leaving so soon.
b. Feeling or expressing sympathy or pity: She felt sorry for the rain-soaked cat.
c. Feeling or expressing regret, especially for a misdeed or mistake: He said he was sorry for breaking the window. I'm sorry I yelled at you.
2. Worthless or inferior; paltry: a sorry excuse.
3. Causing sorrow, grief, or misfortune; grievous: a sorry development.
1. Used to express apology.
2. Used to express interrogation, especially as a request for a person to say something again.
[Middle English sori, from Old English sārig, sad, from sār, sore.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.