Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

regress

play
noun re·gress \ˈrē-ˌgres\

Definition of regress

  1. 1 a :  an act or the privilege of going or coming back b :  reentry 1

  2. 2 :  movement backward to a previous and especially worse or more primitive state or condition

  3. 3 :  the act of reasoning backward



Did You Know?

As you might guess, regress is the opposite of progress. So if a disease regresses, that's generally a good thing, but in most other ways we prefer not to regress. If someone's mental state has been improving, we hope he or she won't start to regress; and when a nation's promising educational system begins to regress, that's a bad sign for the country's future. Economists often distinguish between a progressive tax and a regressive tax; in a progressive tax, the percentage that goes to taxes gets larger as the amount of money being taxed gets larger, while in a regressive tax the percentage gets smaller. (Rich people prefer regressive taxes.)

Origin and Etymology of regress

Middle English regresse, from Anglo-French, from Latin regressus, from regredi to go back, from re- + gradi to go — more at grade


First Known Use: 14th century


2

regress

play
verb re·gress \ri-ˈgres\

Simple Definition of regress

  • : to return to an earlier and usually worse or less developed condition or state

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of regress

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to make or undergo regress :  retrograde b :  to be subject to or exhibit regression

  3. 2 :  to tend to approach or revert to a mean

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to induce a state of psychological regression in

regressor

play \-ˈgre-sər\ noun

Examples of regress in a sentence

  1. The patient is regressing to a childlike state.

  2. <in extreme circumstances, people sometimes regress to the behavior they exhibited in childhood>



1552

First Known Use of regress

1552


Medical Dictionary

regress

play
verb re·gress \ri-ˈgres\

Medical Definition of regress

  1. :  to undergo or exhibit regression <a regressing lesion>

  2. transitive verb

  3. :  to induce a state of psychological regression in <regress a hypnotized subject>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up regress? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a secret group of plotters

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

divulge beat placate defame
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ