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 The Oscars have come along way since 2005 in regards to nominating LGBTQ stories and openly gay creators, and Oscar voters largely regret the Crash Best Picture win. Zach Schonfeld, Vulture, "Smile! A Complete History of the Oscar Class Photo," 23 Apr. 2021 Critics of gender-affirming treatments often argue that children are too young to make these decisions and may regret them in adulthood. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, "FAQ: What you need to know about transgender children," 22 Apr. 2021 One lasting mistake many marketers will regret is cutting back their content budget during the pandemic. Richard Breitengraser, Forbes, "Mobile Only: It's Time To Shift Your Marketing Strategy," 6 Apr. 2021 Wheeler certainly didn’t regret the decision to put Molenhouse in the lineup. Tony Baranek, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Autumn Molenhouse had a plan. Graduate early from high school. Play in college. And then her mom died.," 25 Mar. 2021 Greg doesn't regret missing most of that terrible time. USA Today, "This man survived COVID-19. His treatment odyssey shows how complicated that can be.," 14 Mar. 2021 Jerry Jones does not regret inking Dak Prescott to a massive $160 million contract. Mark Dunphy, San Antonio Express-News, "What NFL experts are saying about Dak Prescott's contract and Jerry Jones' negotiating," 10 Mar. 2021 To the Ali fans, Frazier was an Uncle Tom, an image Ali had planted and would regret later in life. Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Looking back at Ali vs. Frazier: 50 years since ‘The Fight of the Century’," 8 Mar. 2021 Guilt and regret over not doing more to stop Floyd's death could be consistent with 'moral injury,' when someone feels guilty for not stopping an event that violated their moral code, the professor said. Zoë Jackson, Star Tribune, "Derek Chauvin trial shows people who film police violence later struggle with trauma," 2 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun What is your biggest regret from your Survivor experiences? Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Jerri Manthey recalls walking out on 'All-Stars' reunion show," 27 Apr. 2021 Mike Zimmer has expressed regret over the team cutting Daniel Carlson amid his rough NFL start. Andrew Krammer, Star Tribune, "2021 NFL Draft preview: Will the Vikings take another kicker?," 22 Apr. 2021 In another set of messages obtained by prosecutors, Rhodes and Harrelson allegedly discussed Meggs and expressed regret over his leading role on Jan. 6. Alexander Mallin, ABC News, "Oath Keepers stashed weapons at hotel for potential Jan. 6 violence, prosecutors indicate," 13 Apr. 2021 The 51-year-old gospel singer took to social media on Saturday (March 13) to share a video of himself expressing regret over a scornful phone conversation with his son Kerrion Franklin. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, "Kirk Franklin Apologizes After Leaked Profanity-Laced Phone Call With Son," 14 Mar. 2021 Media outlets, as well as comedians like Sarah Silverman, have expressed regret over their treatment of her. Judy Berman, Time, "From Britney to Buffy, We're Suddenly Rethinking Postfeminist Pop Culture—and Nothing Could Be Healthier," 2 Mar. 2021 Witnesses who have taken the stand in the emotional first week of the trial have expressed deep regret for not having done more to try to save Floyd, who was 46 when he was killed. Washington Post, "Chauvin defends restraint of Floyd in newly disclosed body-cam video, saying he was ‘probably on something’," 1 Apr. 2021 In a letter to shareholders in October, Black expressed deep regret for his involvement with Epstein. Matt Egan, CNN, "Billionaire Leon Black is leaving Apollo following scrutiny over ties to Jeffrey Epstein," 22 Mar. 2021 Meghan Markle has one main regret about all of this. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Give a Raw, Emotional Interview to Oprah Winfrey," 8 Mar. 2021

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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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

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Regret.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/regret. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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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Comments on regret

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