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

Tiffany Schubin, an executive assistant at Halmar International, the firm that worked on the bridge, said the company regretted the firefighter’s death and offered condolences to his family. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "FDNY Mourns the Loss of ‘Model’ Rookie," 7 Jan. 2019 Getty Images In spring of 2018, reports surfaced that Ronaldo regretted the split, was still in love with Shayk, and was jealous of her relationship with Cooper. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Who Is Irina Shayk? Everything You Need to Know About Bradley Cooper's Long-Time Girlfriend," 24 Feb. 2019 The Pads gave thought to trading Latos that 2010-11 offseason and would regret not moving him. Tom Krasovic, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Thoughts on Alliance, SDSU and Padres going for it," 7 June 2018 Jennifer Lopez has broken out the super-long extensions several times over the last year, and when Kim Kardashian West almost instantly regretted chopping her hair into a bob, she was seen wearing waist-long extensions from coast to coast. Marci Robin, Allure, "Priyanka Chopra Debuts Super-Long Hair at JBL Fest in Las Vegas," 21 Oct. 2018 Ninety-five percent of women do not regret their abortions. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Anti-Abortion Activists Are Still Defending Forced Birth with Debunked Science," 26 Jan. 2019 French President Emmanuel Macron said his country, Britain, and Germany all regretted Trump's decision. Josh Lederman And Catherine Lucey, The Christian Science Monitor, "Trump pulls US out of Iran nuclear deal," 8 May 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And my lungs huff, voicing their regret at my choice to bum a loose cigarette on Saturday night. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Why You Should Ski Uphill This Spring," 29 Apr. 2019 And my biggest regret was selling that large antique counter in photo #3. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "There’s A Romantic Story Behind Chip And Joanna Gaines’s Original Magnolia Sign," 22 Oct. 2018 My biggest regret is not being able to shake his hand as Sacha Baron Cohen or interview him (as himself). Jeremy Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, "Conservative Radio Host: How I Got Pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen," 12 July 2018 The film is at once energetic and melancholy, vibrantly alive and tinged with sentimental regret. Mark Olsen, latimes.com, "Indie Focus: Renewal and rediscovery with 'First Reformed,' 'Book Club' and 'Cold Water'," 20 May 2018 For some Jive alumni, though, those lessons come tinged with regret. Mike Rogoway, OregonLive.com, "Jive Software: An inspiration and cautionary tale for Portland tech," 1 May 2018 But to me, the worst part has never been the name calling, or the threats of lifelong regret and dying alone. Therese Shechter, SELF, "Menopause Was the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me," 13 Mar. 2019 Cunningham felt festering shame and regret over having betrayed those who had trusted him. Alexander Huls, Popular Mechanics, "The Great Star Wars Heist," 7 Mar. 2019 Very often, they are burdened by a sense of remorse or regret that hasn’t been earned, but is simply existential. John Anderson, WSJ, "The Heights of Obsession," 22 Feb. 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

11 May 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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