What word could I use for someone who is apologizing a lot, for example in I was ____ apologizing to them?

I thought of vigorously apologizing, but it still feels like I’m forgetting a more fitting word.

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  • A general-purpose option is "excessively". Not as tightly bound a collocation as "apologize profusely", but useful for many other verbs as well. (Note that, like "profusely", we would prefer to put this after the verb.) Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 14:39
  • I'm not sure the context. In a story, one might describe the action with more precision: "They stepped back as I kept apologizing." In an email, frankly, I'd probably write "I apologized to them a lot" and avoid formal diction (unless the context, again, calls for more formality).
    – Michael E2
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 22:48

9 Answers 9


The word you are looking for is profusely.

profusely (comparative more profusely, superlative most profusely)

  1. In great quantity or abundance; in a profuse manner.
    The run left him sweating profusely.

Collocations Some verbs commonly collocating with profusely:

  • sweat profusely
  • apologise profusely
  • bleed profusely
  • thank profusely
  • cry profusely

Pay particular attention to those "collocations". The adverb "profusely" is almost never used outside of those examples (of course, you can also reverse the word order, so "profusely apologize" is perfectly fine).

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    And note that it follows the verb (we don't say "I was profusely apologising"). Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 7:50
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    It seems to cry profusely has only recently gained significant traction. But a century or two ago we often said things were scattered profusely or profusely scattered. Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 13:55
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    Thank you, the word order I was trying to fit it in must have been why I couldn’t remember it! Even if it works when reversed, it sounds much more natural after the verb.
    – Axuwu Jump
    Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 10:04
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    I'm pretty sure I say "I profusely apologised"
    – Omroth
    Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 14:36
  • @KateBunting Of course you can say "I was profusely apologising"! It may not be as common, but it's not rare. Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 21:55

You could just say

I was deeply apologetic

  • Or synonym: profoundly apologetic
    – Bohemian
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 1:39

Try synonyms for effusively, abjectly, obsequiously, etc. Rather than an adverb, I might also use an adjective, or a different verb to express the same idea, e.g.,

  • I groveled, apologizing to them.
  • I was abject in my apologies.
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    What about “profusely”? Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 0:43

If you want to emphasize how sincere you are being, instead of some of the alternatives which imply you might be overdoing it: sincerely, remorsefully, genuinely, honestly.

  • deeply, but I think the question is about the quantity, not the quality Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 10:06

If you want to suggest the quantity of apology, rather than its vociferousness, then copiously may fit. It would probably fit better as apologizing copiously rather than the reverse order, or to give copious apologies.

Copious - Merriam Webster Yielding something abundantly

  • Copious suggest a large outpouring (tears, drama, claims of self-loathing, etc) in a single apology. But in this case we want to signify a large number of individual apologies.
    – Trunk
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 12:46

The most common phrasing would be ‘I was apologizing profusely to them.’.

Note that ‘profusely’ preferentially comes after the verb it modifies, but it can also come before. It’s typical usage is relatively limited to being paired with a small handful of verbs (bleed, sweat, thank, and apologize are the four most common, cry is seen occasionally, and some others are occasionally used such as chastise, remonstrate, or expostulate). In may contexts, ‘profusely’ often bears an often negative connotation of extreme abundance or excess. The adjectival form ‘profuse’ is used a bit more freely than the adverb, but carries the same connotation of excess or overabundance.

‘apologizing vigorously’ would also be perfectly acceptable, and at least to me would not imply that the apologies were excessive, but more that they were instead enthusiastic and prompt, and possibly not quite genuine.

Depending on context, ‘apologizing vociferously’ may also work, though that usually implies either loud and obnoxious behavior, or incoherent babbling in an attempt to provide an apology, and would also at least for me carry a connotation of the apologies not being truly genuine.

  • Thank you so much, “profusely” was that word on the tip of my tongue that I couldn’t remember! And I appreciate the detailed explanations of the connotations.
    – Axuwu Jump
    Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 10:03

abundantly. I don't think it's used very abundantly, but it's just one of the options. Here is one example:




frequently [ free-kwuhnt-lee ]SHOW IPA

See synonyms for frequently on Thesaurus.com adverb often; many times; at short intervals.

[from dictionary.com]

Example: He apologized so frequently, that his apologies meant little.

Also, if used before a noun, you may want an adjective, such as frequent:

Example: This frequent apology stream was getting tiresome.

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    I don’t think this is what the OP meant, but the question is open to interpretation.
    – Davislor
    Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 14:41

To convey the meaning of "a lot" or "very much" in relation to apologizing, you can use the adverb "profusely." "Profusely" means in a large amount or to a great degree. It is often used to express sincere apologies or a deep sense of regret. Here's an example:

"I apologize profusely for any inconvenience caused."

In this sentence, "profusely" intensifies the apology, indicating that the speaker is expressing a strong and genuine sense of regret.

Other adverbs that can convey a similar meaning include "deeply," "sincerely," and "heartily." These adverbs can be used to emphasize the extent or sincerity of the apology. However, "profusely" is particularly associated with expressing apologies in a generous or abundant manner.

Remember that the choice of adverb may vary depending on the context and the level of formality. It's important to consider the specific tone and level of emphasis you want to convey when selecting the most appropriate adverb.

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    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 7:03
  • All the suggestions listed in this answer, with the exception of heartily, have already been mentioned on this page. In particular "profusely" was submitted over two days ago
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 7:57

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