regression

noun
re·gres·sion | \ ri-ˈgre-shən \

Definition of regression 

1 : the act or an instance of regressing

2 : a trend or shift toward a lower or less perfect state: such as

a : progressive decline of a manifestation of disease

b(1) : gradual loss of differentiation and function by a body part especially as a physiological change accompanying aging

(2) : gradual loss of memories and acquired skills

c : reversion to an earlier mental or behavioral level

d : a functional relationship between two or more correlated variables that is often empirically determined from data and is used especially to predict values of one variable when given values of the others the regression of y on x is linear specifically : a function that yields the mean value of a random variable under the condition that one or more independent variables have specified values

3 : retrograde motion

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for regression

Synonyms

retrogression, reversion

Antonyms

advancement, development, evolution, progression

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of regression in a Sentence

the regression to really childish behavior that boys often undergo when put in large groups

Recent Examples on the Web

Generally speaking, the areas that had the strongest regression coefficients—that is, the places where elevation best predicted the change in real estate prices—are all along the coast and at the highest risk of flooding, as the graphic below shows. Richard Florida, WIRED, "Climate Change Will Force the Poor From Their Homes," 13 July 2018 The book shows the regression and evolution of citizenship in the United States. Alexander Heffner, Time, "The American Historical Record Includes Court Cases, Famous Speeches—And Trump’s Tweets. Here’s Why That Matters," 2 July 2018 Because the move is pretty advanced, try these regressions from Mansour and Solomon first to build your strength in the same muscle groups. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Strengthen Your Core and Shoulders With Adriana Lima's Challenging Battle Rope Plank," 13 June 2018 Losers: Rockets Forecasting some degree of regression from the Rockets is a safe bet. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "2018 NBA Free Agency: The Early Winners And Losers," 5 July 2018 Born without legs because of caudal regression syndrome, Zion Clark became a successful wrestler at Massillon Washington High School in Ohio. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Indy Shorts: 10 standout actors and documentary subjects you’ll see onscreen at new fest," 3 July 2018 Many here and in the region fear that under Prayuth’s watch, America’s oldest ally in Asia is undergoing a permanent authoritarian regression. Time, "Thailand’s Leader Promised to Restore Democracy. Instead He's Tightening His Grip," 21 June 2018 The third outcome is a regression to a smaller number of separate passport-free zones: Benelux, the Nordics, Iberia and so on. The Economist, "Europe’s passport-free zone faces a grim future," 21 June 2018 While Chris Davis’ struggles have grabbed the most attention, 2017 Most Valuable Oriole Jonathan Schoop has experienced quite a regression this season as well. Josh Land, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles on deck: Corban Joseph recalled, is starting for Davis; plus what to watch Friday vs. Marlins," 15 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of regression

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about regression

Share regression

Statistics for regression

Last Updated

29 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for regression

The first known use of regression was in 1583

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for regression

regression

noun

Financial Definition of regression

What It Is

Regression is a statistical method used in finance and other fields to make predictions based on observed values. It is a measure of how correlated a group of actual observations are to a model’s predictions.

How It Works

In the following examples, the blue dots represent the going prices for figurine collections on eBay. Collections with more figurines go for as much as $100; collections with fewer than five figurines sell for very little. How can we predict how much a collection will sell for?

We do it using regression analysis, which essentially finds the formula for the line that most closely fits the observations. That way, we can use the line to predict what the price of the collection might be if we know how many figurines are in a collection, or we can predict how many figurines should be in a collection if we know the asking price.

In our example below, the black lines represent a regression line, which is represented by the formula in the top right-hand corner of each chart. This formula is what analysts also use to predict future values of securities based on the behavior of the actual observations.

Goodness of fit is a component of regression analysis. The term refers to how far apart the expected values of a financial model are from the actual values (that is, how predictive the line is).

As you can see, this regression line has a high goodness of fit; the formula for the regression line comes up with the observed values about 79% of the time.

This next chart is an example of a regression line with low goodness of fit. Here, the values are all over the place, and the formula for the regression line was virtually unable to predict anything.

Why It Matters

Regression is a mathematical version of a crystal ball, but a very cracked, blurry crystal ball. Goodness of fit is the key -- it's a confidence measure. This is because when you've come up with a formula that accounts for most of the variations in a group of, say, price observations, you've also come up with a formula that can be a very reliable predictor of what prices will be in the future. And that’s priceless.

Source: Investing Answers

regression

noun
re·gres·sion | \ ri-ˈgresh-ən \

Medical Definition of regression 

: a trend or shift toward a lower, less severe, or less perfect state: as

a : progressive decline (as in size or severity) of a manifestation of disease tumor regression following radiation

b(1) : a gradual loss of differentiation and function by a body part especially as a physiological change accompanying aging menopausal regression of the ovaries

(2) : gradual loss (as in old age) of memories and acquired skills

c : reversion to an earlier mental or behavioral level or to an earlier stage of psychosexual development in response to organismic stress or to suggestion a protective regression towards childhood —Havelock Ellis

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on regression

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

WORD OF THE DAY

occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!