1640s, "vindicatory," from French apologétique, from Latin apologeticus, from Greek apologetikos "defensible," from apologeisthai (see apology). Meaning "regretfully acknowledging failure" is from 1855. As a noun, "formal defense," from early 15c. Related: Apologetics (c. 1753).
1. The hospital staff were very apologetic but that couldn't really compensate.
2. They were almost apologetic about the improvements they'd made.
3. "I don't follow football," she said with an apologetic smile.