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 Even with hindsight, Ernie doesn’t regret his NFL decision. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "Ernie Thompson keeps promise to Bill Mallory, gets diploma from IU at age 50," 17 May 2020 Still, Henderson did not regret attending the rally, which was organized by conservative Redmond activist BJ Soper. oregonlive, "Deschutes County official regrets not wearing mask at stay-home protest rally," 1 May 2020 While he was projected to go at least two rounds earlier, the Sun Devil turned Cardinal doesn't regret his decision to leave ASU after his junior year. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals draft pick Eno Benjamin ready for challenge of NFL," 29 Apr. 2020 The Detroit center, in an interview on ESPN’s The Jump scheduled for later Monday, doesn’t regret the decision to walk off the floor. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "‘The Last Dance’: Bill Laimbeer calls Michael Jordan, Bulls ‘whiners;’ Isiah Thomas regretful," 27 Apr. 2020 Still, the internal medicine resident doesn’t regret the decision to volunteer for a job that puts her and her family at risk. Joshua Mitnick, The Christian Science Monitor, "In Israeli war on coronavirus, Arab doctors rush to the front," 16 Apr. 2020 Outside regrets the error. (Feb 21, 2020) A previous version of this story relied on outdated information on Patagonia’s web site that said the company participates in the ILO’s Better Work program in Jordan. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, "The Dark Secrets Lurking Inside Your Outdoor Gear," 21 Feb. 2020 In tender vignettes, the actor, 60, charts his life from birth to present day, writing with candor, vulnerability and sometimes regret about family, love, faith, financial problems and a waning acting career. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, "Val Kilmer begged to be in ‘Top Gun’ sequel and other revelations from his new memoir," 23 Apr. 2020 While also being gentle with myself & learning not to regret loving so hard. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Trevor’s Ex Sierra Appears To Have Responded To Listen To Your Heart Cheating Drama," 21 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Her main regrets center on loneliness and the problems of dating while becoming ever busier and more prominent. Laura Marsh, The New Republic, "The Flawed Fantasy of a Different Hillary Clinton," 19 May 2020 Still, by stripping away our misgivings, Sittenfeld makes room for the catharsis of uncomplicated regret. Nora Caplan-bricker, The New Yorker, "Curtis Sittenfeld’s “Rodham” Offers the Catharsis of Uncomplicated Regret," 17 May 2020 As for his own state’s actions, Cuomo today appears to see little reason for regret or apology. Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica, "Two Coasts. One Virus. How New York Suffered Nearly 10 Times the Number of Deaths as California.," 16 May 2020 Do not let an old regret cloud your happiness — this is futile. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 16 May 2020 This particular corner of South Dallas is awash in such regrets and washouts. Robert Wilonsky, Dallas News, "Here’s how a good project, and your money, crashed and burned in a South Dallas landmark," 28 Feb. 2020 For years, their club traipsed in the wilderness, knowing nothing but disappointment and regret and misery, greeting it all with a wry smile. Rory Smith, New York Times, "The Perils of Having Your Dreams Come True," 21 Feb. 2020 Many lives will benefit from it; instances of deep regret and lifelong suffering will be prevented. Charlie Peters, National Review, "The Wisdom of Children Brings Hope in Gender Policy Debate," 5 May 2020 The reason is the small-but-important distinction between regret and disappointment: agency. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, "Two Mental Errors That Make the Pandemic Harder to Bear," 23 Apr. 2020

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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Learn More about regret

Time Traveler for regret

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for regret

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Regret.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/regret. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for regret

regret

verb
How to pronounce regret (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for regret

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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