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I was reading a novel where a woman A apologizes to another B through a letter. A is very regretful about her past actions, esp towards B and wanted to apologize. A mentions that she is sorry for that and asks for forgiveness. And also this statement.

Sorry is an understatement.

What does this exactly mean? Is the person profusely sorry but is unable to express more than this statement? Is my understanding right?

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An understatement is a statement that is constrained and not as emotional as it could be. Sometimes people understate reality in order to maintain politeness or to minimize drama. In this case, a short letter can only convey a certain degree of emotion. So you're correct, Woman A is profusely sorry and wants Woman B to know that the letter doesn't accurately describe how sorry she really feels.

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