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

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 This may be one attempt at campaign spin Ohio Republicans regret. Marilyn Icsman, Cincinnati.com, "What does Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor think of her party's candidate for governor Mike DeWine today? Good question.," 21 June 2018 Gunnarsson moved across from the mainland three years ago and has never regretted it. James Masters, CNN, "'It's in blood, the nature and the culture.' Iceland's hard World Cup work pays off," 15 June 2018 Now is the season of the year to make all necessary preparations and arrangements, and take our word for it, none who try the experiment will regret it. Arthur Hart, idahostatesman, "The Idaho of 1870s proved fertile ground for flowers, gardens," 1 June 2018 It’s poised to baffle and annoy a lot of audiences, but those who can go along for the ride won’t regret it. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The twisted Under the Silver Lake injects paranoia into its gleeful neo-noir pastiche," 18 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then again, the top seed never has regrets in working hard in match play to earn that spot. Steve T. Gorches, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Kuhlkin edges UCF alum Johnson for Women’s U.S. Open," 30 June 2018 Honest, reflective and even tender, Sedaris bravely — and movingly — lists his regrets. Caroline Leavitt, SFChronicle.com, "'Calypso,' by David Sedaris," 22 June 2018 My only regret is having wasted a bunch of previous summers without it in my life. Carla Lalli Music, Bon Appetit, "You’re Gonna Try This Fruit Salad and You’re Gonna Love It," 21 June 2018 No regrets Former Cubs prospect Gleyber Torres, traded to the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman deal in 2016, made the AL squad one year after season-ending Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Fans aren't only ones making questionable All-Star selections," 9 July 2018 My one regret, looking back on Spotify, was that the vision of a truly social music network never really materialized. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Q&A: Sean Parker on Napster, Spotify, and His Federal Tax Law Triumph," 25 May 2018 But in a story reported from his Arizona ranch, where the senator is relaxing between treatment for brain cancer and receiving old friends during what may be his final days, the New York Times reports that McCain does have regrets about his VP pick. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "John McCain Regrets His Palin Pick for the Wrong Reasons," 5 May 2018 Here, the designer talks about the no-regrets experimental hair colors of her teenage years, the skin-care lessons picked up from her mother, and the acupuncturist so good, Rocha is reluctant to share her information. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Simone Rocha on the Key to Understated Femininity and Her Favorite London Beauty Destinations," 17 Feb. 2018 According to Manfred, Mejia expresed regret and vowed to adhere to the policy in the future. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "Dusty Baker’s long gone as Nationals, Bryce Harper struggle," 7 July 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

9 Nov 2018

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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Comments on regret

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