1 [predic.] feeling sad or distressed through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune:I was sorry to hear about what happened to your family
) filled with compassion for:I felt sorry for the poor boys working for him
2 [predic.] feeling regret or penitence:he said he was sorry he had upset me I’m sorry if I was a bit brusque used to express apology:sorry—I was trying not to make a noise used as a polite request that someone should repeat something that one has failed to hear or understand:I’m sorry—you were saying?
3 [attributive] in a poor or pitiful state:he looks a sorry sight with his broken jaw unpleasant and regrettable, especially on account of incompetence or misbehaviour:we feel so ashamed that we keep quiet about the whole sorry business