regret

verb
re·​gret | \ ri-ˈgret \
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

Noun

regretful \ ri-​ˈgret-​fəl \ adjective
regretfulness 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

The student has no previous convictions and appeared to regret his actions, Ungefuk said. Geir Moulson, The Seattle Times, "German suspect in politician data hack says he acted alone," 8 Jan. 2019 Sometimes a company misses the boat on a trend, and regrets it forever. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Google has a big advantage over Facebook in a crisis," 10 Oct. 2018 On top of that, in another survey, Trulia learned that 40 percent of respondents regretted their move after three years not because of the home, but because of the surroundings. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "New Trulia feature wants to be your go-to guide for neighborhood info," 15 Aug. 2018 But early indications suggest L.A. won’t regret it. 3. Albert Breer, SI.com, "For Pete Carroll’s Seahawks, It’s Time to Compete Again," 11 June 2018 And this is not a spontaneous moment of violence that Emily regrets; at least not immediately. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Finale Offers a Light in the Darkness," 11 July 2018 Perhaps there will be more situations like that of Couch, where a school may regret scheduling an official visit during the offseason and adjust their game plan accordingly. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Why Michigan and Michigan State are crushing it on the recruiting trail," 5 July 2018 Some people in Madison County fall on the other end of the spectrum — and regret their votes for Trump. Seth Slabaugh, Indianapolis Star, "Sen. Joe Donnelly needs to keep his pro-Trump voters. But can he?," 12 July 2018 Nissan understands and regrets the concern and inconvenience caused to stakeholders as a result of its [inspection process] issues last year. David Meyer, Fortune, "Nissan Shares Tank as It Admits That Some of Its Factories Faked Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Test Data," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the film, McCain expresses regret for not picking Lieberman as his running mate in place of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. CBS News, "In new documentary, McCain says Americans deserve more from government," 18 May 2018 But the actions of Israeli troops, and the U.S. refusal even to express regret for the loss of life, has left both countries isolated amid growing condemnations that Israel used excessive force against the protesters, many of whom were unarmed. Anchorage Daily News, "Israel, US criticized for Palestinian deaths in Gaza clashes as death toll rises," 16 May 2018 Part of Bertolucci’s weariness with his own technique was most likely a regret at having just missed the era of Italian neorealism, whose glorious movies were filmed before the advent of color, in modest black and white. Lee Siegel, WSJ, "Bertolucci’s Obsessions," 30 Nov. 2018 Everlane has been the top brand with the least regret for the retailer, two years in a row. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "thredUP's Data Says Victoria’s Secret Is the Most “Regrettable” Holiday Gift," 27 Nov. 2018 Within the first few seconds, Theresa could sense that the mother was having immense regret over something that had happened in the past. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Long Island Medium' Theresa Caputo Gives Heart-Stopping Reading to Mom Who Lost a Child," 26 Oct. 2018 Speaking in recent, separate interviews, Nowarah’s father, Siam, and Deri both expressed profound regret about the events that brought them into such unusually intimate contact. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "After a killing, an Israeli soldier and an Arab family confront justice," 16 June 2018 One of Halo Top’s slogans, Schwedel points out, is no bowl, no regrets. Zan Romanoff, Bon Appetit, "Why Are We So Obsessed with Making Healthy Desserts?," 23 Apr. 2018 Mary Jo White, who is heading the investigation for Debevoise & Plimpton, expressed regret to the CBS board of directors Monday about the leak, according to a person familiar with the matter. Joe Flint, WSJ, "CBS to Donate Part of Former CEO’s Exit Pay to Antiharassment Causes," 14 Dec. 2018

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

19 Jan 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

regrets : a statement saying politely that you will not be able to go to a meeting, party, etc.

regret

verb
re·​gret | \ ri-ˈgret \
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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