regress

noun
re·​gress | \ ˈrē-ˌgres How to pronounce regress (audio) \

Definition of regress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an act or the privilege of going or coming back
2 : movement backward to a previous and especially worse or more primitive state or condition
3 : the act of reasoning backward

regress

verb
re·​gress | \ ri-ˈgres How to pronounce regress (audio) \
regressed; regressing; regresses

Definition of regress (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to make or undergo regress : retrograde
b : to be subject to or exhibit regression
2 : to tend to approach or revert to a mean

transitive verb

: to induce a state of psychological regression in

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Other Words from regress

Verb

regressor \ ri-​ˈgre-​sər How to pronounce regressor (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for regress

Synonyms: Verb

retrogress, return, revert

Antonyms: Verb

advance, develop, evolve, progress

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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 that person 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.

Examples of regress in a Sentence

Verb

The patient is regressing to a childlike state. in extreme circumstances, people sometimes regress to the behavior they exhibited in childhood

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Despite Carlson's seemingly amicable regress, and her costars' continued support, Estes admits the adjustment wasn't easy. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Star Will Estes Opens Up About Amy Carlson's 'Shocking' Exit," 6 Oct. 2018 Yet if Keenum regresses, starts committing turnovers or can't consistently lead scoring drives, the Broncos will find themselves in the quarterback market again. Lindsay H. Jones, USA TODAY, "Broncos training camp questions: Is Case Keenum long-term answer at QB?," 28 June 2018 By making Elastigirl no more than an extension of her family, Incredibles 2 regresses to a time when any power women managed to acquire was carefully controlled so as not constitute a threat to the male order. Andrea Thompson, Chicago Reader, "Incredibles 2 : Who’s afraid of the superpowered woman?," 29 June 2018 There would be a possible upset scenario if Good Magic improves and Justify regresses. Joe Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "In Preakness, the coast looks clear for Justify," 17 May 2018 Even if Drew Brees regresses or gets hurt, the running game can carry the offense. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "Picking the 2018 win total over/under for all 32 NFL teams," 1 May 2018 There’s also something stunted about Anderson’s eternal regress to age twelve. Christian Lorentzen, The New Republic, "The earnest, ironic stylings of Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs”," 21 Mar. 2018 Venezuela remains the most dramatic case of democratic regress in Latin America. The Economist, "BelloHow Venezuela tests Latin America’s commitment to democracy," 1 Mar. 2018 Plus, Elway is expected to embark on yet another veteran QB search after watching his offense regress under the turnstile trio of Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch, all of them his draft picks. USA TODAY, "Elway decides to keep Broncos coach Joseph after 5-11 season," 1 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the dicey, regressing world order of 2019, maintenance qualifies as progress. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, "Can Emmanuel Macron Stem the Populist Tide?," 24 June 2019 Filly showed ability when winning the Tolltac Handicap here last September and can upset Purty Fancy Dude, the 6-5 morning-line favorite who may regress off a career best 96 Trackmaster speed figure when hard urged in his last victory. John Cherwa, latimes.com, "Racing! Congrats to Queen Bee to You for winning Bertrando Stakes," 30 June 2019 The trio of pitchers all became first round draft picks, but the Commodores regressed during the 2014 regular season and went 17-13 in SEC play. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Teammates reunited in Giants-Dodgers rivalry that’s missing out on a key player," 20 June 2019 Another team which was on the Super Bowl doorstep in 2017, the Vikes regressed last season despite the ballyhooed acquisition of QB Kirk Cousins. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Which NFL team is closest to winning its first Super Bowl? Ranking the 12 contenders," 18 June 2019 To regress the move, simply forego the jump lunge and follow a pattern of stepping up, stepping back, and reverse lunging. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Work Your Entire Lower Body With This One Bodyweight Exercise," 21 Apr. 2019 This sociological metric helps researchers understand how society is progressing or regressing in specific areas. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Why International Women's Day Is Celebrated on March 8," 28 Feb. 2019 Defensive impact regressed as a junior, averaging 0.9 steals per-36 after 1.8 as a sophomore. Ben Ladner, SI.com, "Clippers Select Jerome Robinson With No. 13 Pick in 2018 NBA Draft," 21 June 2018 Bryant has regressed since signing a five-year extension with the Cowboys before the 2015 season, failing to reach the 1,000-yard mark and double-digit touchdowns in the past three seasons. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Dez Bryant to the ... Packers? Jason Witten thinks so | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'regress.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of regress

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1522, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for regress

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for regress

The first known use of regress was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for regress

regress

verb

English Language Learners Definition of regress

technical : to return to an earlier and usually worse or less developed condition or state
re·​gress | \ ri-ˈgres How to pronounce regress (audio) \

Medical Definition of regress

: to undergo or exhibit regression a regressing lesion

transitive verb

: to induce a state of psychological regression in regress a hypnotized subject

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More from Merriam-Webster on regress

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with regress

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for regress

Spanish Central: Translation of regress

Nglish: Translation of regress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of regress for Arabic Speakers

Comments on regress

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