regret

verb
re·​gret | \ ri-ˈgret How to pronounce regret (audio) \
regretted; regretting

Definition of regret

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to mourn the loss or death of
b : to miss very much
2 : to be very sorry for regrets his mistakes

intransitive verb

: to experience regret

regret

noun

Definition of regret (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : sorrow aroused by circumstances beyond one's control or power to repair
2a : an expression of distressing emotion (such as sorrow)
b regrets plural : a note politely declining an invitation

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Other Words from regret

Verb

regretter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for regret

Noun

sorrow, grief, anguish, woe, regret mean distress of mind. sorrow implies a sense of loss or a sense of guilt and remorse. a family united in sorrow upon the patriarch's death grief implies poignant sorrow for an immediate cause. the inexpressible grief of the bereaved parents anguish suggests torturing grief or dread. the anguish felt by the parents of the kidnapped child woe is deep or inconsolable grief or misery. cries of woe echoed throughout the bombed city regret implies pain caused by deep disappointment, fruitless longing, or unavailing remorse. nagging regret for missed opportunities

Examples of regret in a Sentence

Verb

Don't say anything you might regret later. I deeply regret what I said. She does not regret leaving him. He regrets not traveling more when he was younger. He says he doesn't regret anything that he's done in his life.

Noun

She has no regrets about leaving him. My greatest regret is not going to college. To my regret, I never visited Europe. It is with deep regret that he is announcing his resignation. My coworker gives her regrets for not being able to attend the meeting.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Not so much regretting that move, but really just having a lot of time to think about what could’ve gone differently. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Analysis: Scooter Gennett can provide an MLB trade deadline-like boost for Cincinnati Reds," 28 June 2019 Last week, Maria got eliminated, a choice Vinny accurately regretted. Darren Franich, EW.com, "In praise of the goofy, shocking, endearing Double Shot at Love finale," 28 June 2019 Instagram may have been on its way to providing such competition, which is why many now regret that Facebook was allowed to buy it. Amanda Lotz, The Conversation, "Amazon, Google and Facebook warrant antitrust scrutiny for many reasons – not just because they’re large," 24 June 2019 However, sometimes the coaches regret their choice to turn their chairs. Temi Adebowale, Country Living, "'The Voice' Coaches Explain Why They Get 'Chair-Turner's Remorse' Every Season," 1 Oct. 2018 Tyler Perry wasn’t impressed with her billboard advertisement, but aspiring actress Racquel Bailey doesn’t regret taking her shot. Lexi Vollero, EW.com, "Actress responds after Tyler Perry shoots down her billboard audition: 'I had to take a chance'," 6 June 2019 This is a state visit offered in haste and regretted at leisure. Martin Farr, Quartz, "Donald Trump’s state visit is a sorry sign of the times for the UK," 4 June 2019 Every single track on Born in the U.S.A. channels regret, fear, pain, loss, aging, and/or frustration — in its lyrics. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Bruce Springsteen, Accidental Patriot," 4 June 2019 In its followup post Tuesday, White Owl apologized for its previous statement, and said the business acknowledged and regretted hurting anyone. oregonlive.com, "White Owl Social Club in Portland apologizes for throwing transgender person out of bar," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sometimes regrets are life lessons, which result in self compassion and growth. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "Kaitlyn Bristowe defends fellow 'Bachelorette' Hannah Brown against critics," 3 July 2019 Jane Fonda, who celebrated her 81st birthday last December, has lived an extraordinary life — albeit one with more than a little regret. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Jane Fonda heads to Dallas, which bears a connection to a turning point in her Oscar-winning career," 2 July 2019 Exceeding the 300-kilogram limit causes regret, but shouldn’t be overdramatized. Jon Gambrell, BostonGlobe.com, "Iran surpasses nuclear deal’s limit on low-enriched uranium," 1 July 2019 Will the 30-year-old former league MVP regret walking away—for now, with just one good leg—from the kind of money that few people earn in a lifetime, never mind in one year? Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Kevin Durant And the Inequality of Max Contract Offers," 28 June 2019 Acknowledging that sacrifice has only pushed her to work harder and live without regret. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "How Yacine Diop's long journey to play for Louisville basketball began in Senegal," 28 June 2019 Another regret was her decision to undergo 10 plastic surgery procedures in one day. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Make the Women of The Hills Famous Again," 24 June 2019 His doubts, hesitations, and regrets were as nothing in the face of the coming apocalypse. Nell Zink, Harper's magazine, "Marmalade Sky," 24 June 2019 Saying goodbye to Chris Farley Jim Farley isn't without regret. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "A man who can build a car by hand leads Ford into future; 'He’s just never afraid'," 19 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'regret.' 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 regret

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for regret

Verb

Middle English regretten, from Anglo-French regreter, from re- + -greter (perhaps of Germanic origin; akin to Old Norse grāta to weep) — more at greet

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Statistics for regret

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for regret

The first known use of regret was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for regret

regret

verb

English Language Learners Definition of regret

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to feel sad or sorry about (something that you did or did not do) : to have regrets about (something)
used formally and in writing to express sad feelings about something that is disappointing or unpleasant

regret

noun

English Language Learners Definition of regret (Entry 2 of 2)

: a feeling of sadness or disappointment about something that you did or did not do
: a statement saying politely that you will not be able to go to a meeting, party, etc.

regret

verb
re·​gret | \ ri-ˈgret How to pronounce regret (audio) \
regretted; regretting

Kids Definition of regret

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be sorry for She regrets her rash decision. “… very common and ill-mannered they are, I regret to say.”— Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach

regret

noun

Kids Definition of regret (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : sadness or disappointment caused especially by something beyond a person's control I recall my harsh words with much regret.
2 : an expression of sorrow or disappointment
3 regrets plural : a note politely refusing to accept an invitation I send my regrets.

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More from Merriam-Webster on regret

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with regret

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for regret

Spanish Central: Translation of regret

Nglish: Translation of regret for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of regret for Arabic Speakers

Comments on regret

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