From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishsorry/I’m sorrysorry/I’m sorryspoken a) SORRY/APOLOGIZEused to tell someone that you wish you had not done something that has affected them badly, hurt them etc I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. ‘Matt, stop doing that!’ ‘Sorry!’ I’m sorry, did I step on your foot?sorry (that) I’m sorry I’m late – the traffic was terrible.sorry about something Sorry about the mess – I’ll clean it up.sorry for (doing) something I’m sorry for making such a fuss. Sorry to bother you, but what was the address again? b) used as a polite way of introducing disappointing information or a piece of bad news I’m sorry, but all the flights to Athens are fully booked. c) used when you have said something that is not correct, and want to say something that is correct Turn right – sorry left – at the traffic lights. d) used when you refuse an offer or request ‘Are you coming to lunch?’ ‘Sorry, no. I’ve got to finish this work.’ ‘I’ll give you $50 for it.’ ‘Sorry, no deal.’ e) used when you disagree with someone, or tell someone that they have done something wrong I’m sorry, but I find that very hard to believe, Miss Brannigan. → sorry
Examples from the Corpussorry for (doing) something• In a way I felt a bit sorry for him.• Tom Schutte, who does, was very sorry for the confusion, and has been forwarding calls to the appropriate bands.• A minute earlier he had been feeling sorry for the men who were still out on house-to-house questioning.• She says she feels sorry for them.• At that moment in their lives the Childerses could have felt sorry for themselves.• She was sorry for Therese Aschmann, but she had no energy left for anything except getting through her own part.• I remember definite feelings of not wanting to be felt sorry for, very much wanting everything to carry on as normal.• Your problem is that every time a relationship goes bad, you feel sorry for yourself and become more of a loner.