I. adjective 1. expressing or showing regretful acknowledgement of an offence or failure • she was very apologetic about the whole incident
• an apologetic smile.
2. constituting a formal defence or justification of a theory or doctrine. • the apologetic proposition that production for profit is the same thing as production for need.
– origin late Middle English (as a noun denoting a formal justification): from French apologétique or late Latin apologeticus, from Greek apologētikos, from apologeisthei ‘speak in one’s own defence’, from apologia (see apology). The current sense dates from the mid 19th cent.