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Apologization vs. Apology: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 11, 2023
Apologization is the act or process of making an apology, while an apology is an expression of regret or remorse for an action.

Key Differences

Apologization and apology, while interconnected, signify different aspects of remorse. Apologization, as its structure implies, pertains to the act or process of offering an apology. The "-ization" suffix often indicates a process or action, and in this context, it refers to the steps or the act of apologizing. It may encompass not just the words, but also the behaviors and actions accompanying an apology.
On the other hand, an apology is the expression itself. It's the words "I'm sorry" or any sentiment conveyed to express regret, remorse, or acknowledgment of an error or offense. In essence, while apologization might cover the journey or process leading to an apology, an apology is the endpoint, the final expression of remorse.
Interestingly, while "apology" is commonly used in daily language, "apologization" is less frequent, often appearing in more formal or academic contexts. One might say that "apologization" dives deeper into the sociological or psychological processes behind the act of apologizing.
Lastly, both terms encapsulate the human tendency to make amends and restore harmony. Yet, while apologization delves into the action and intent, an apology is the tangible expression or outcome of that intent.

Comparison Chart

Grammar Type

Noun (process or action)
Noun (expression)

Primary Meaning

The act or process of making an apology
An expression of regret or remorse

Usage Frequency

Less common, more formal
Commonly used

Contextual Example

Sociological study of apologization
Offering a heartfelt apology

Length of Term

Longer, more complex
Shorter, direct

Apologization and Apology Definitions


The process of framing or phrasing an apology.
The workshop focused on the art of apologization.


A statement expressing sorrow for one's actions.
His apology was accepted by the community.


A sociological or psychological study of apologizing behaviors.
His research on apologization revealed cultural differences.


An expression of regret for an action or statement.
She accepted his heartfelt apology.


The act of offering an apology.
The manager's apologization was sincere and timely.


An acknowledgment of an error or offense.
The newspaper printed an apology for the mistake.


The formal act of expressing remorse.
The company's public apologization was broadcasted on national television.


An admission of guilt or wrongdoing.
The defendant's apology was read in court.


The broader actions accompanying an apology.
True apologization involves both words and corrective actions.


An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense
Please accept my apology for being so late.


Action of apologizing; apology.


A formal justification or defense.


An explanation or excuse
"The consequence of those measures will be the best apology for my conduct" (Daniel Defoe).


An inferior substitute
The sagging cot was a poor apology for a bed.


An expression of remorse or regret for having said or done something that harmed another: an instance of apologizing (saying that one is sorry).
What he said really hurt my feelings, but his apology sounded so sincere that I couldn't help but forgive him.
The CEO made a public apology for the scandal, and promised full cooperation with the authorities.


A formal justification, defence.
The Apology of Socrates.


Anything provided as a substitute; a makeshift.
A poor apology for a hotel room


Something said or written in defense or justification of what appears to others wrong, or of what may be liable to disapprobation; justification; as, Tertullian's Apology for Christianity.
It is not my intention to make an apology for my poem; some will think it needs no excuse, and others will receive none.


An acknowledgment intended as an atonement for some improper or injurious remark or act; an admission to another of a wrong or discourtesy done him, accompanied by an expression of regret.


Anything provided as a substitute; a makeshift.
He goes to work devising apologies for window curtains.


To offer an apology.
For which he can not well apology.


An expression of regret at having caused trouble for someone;
He wrote a letter of apology to the hostess


A formal written defense of something you believe in strongly


A poor example;
It was an apology for a meal
A poor excuse for an automobile


Is "apologization" commonly used in daily conversations?

No, "apologization" is less common and often appears in formal or academic contexts.

Can "apology" mean a defense of one's views?

Yes, "apology" can also mean a formal justification or defense, though this usage is less common.

Does "apologization" only refer to verbal apologies?

No, it can encompass both the words and the broader actions accompanying an apology.

Can "apologization" be seen in different cultures?

Yes, the act and nuances of apologization can vary across cultures.

Is an "apology" always sincere?

The term "apology" describes the expression of regret, but sincerity depends on the individual's intent.

Which term is more direct: "apologization" or "apology"?

"Apology" is more direct, referring to the expression of regret itself.

Does "apologization" always imply a genuine process?

The term denotes the act or process of apologizing, but genuine remorse is subjective and varies by individual.

Can an "apology" be non-verbal?

While commonly verbal, apologies can also be expressed through actions or gestures.

Is "apologization" a newer term?

It's less commonly used than "apology," but not necessarily newer. It's more formal and often used in academic settings.

Does every "apologization" result in an "apology"?

Ideally, yes, but the sincerity and form of the resulting apology can vary.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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