re·​gret·​ful ri-ˈgret-fəl How to pronounce regretful (audio)
: full of regret : feeling or expressing regret
feeling regretful
a regretful sigh/look
… and all that the three-year difference does is make us laugh and make us regretful about our own adolescences.Stanley Kauffmann
regretfulness noun
Even more than 40 years after Jones' death, Richards refuses to indulge in any false sentimentality or regretfulness. Greg Kot

Examples of regretful in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Oh, and Homer winds up having a videotaped threesome with a pair of immediately regretful male demons. Dennis Perkins,, 24 Nov. 2023 Avoid spontaneous purchases or regretful decisions when the bills arrive. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, 26 Feb. 2024 Making space for a few epic electric guitar riffs from her band throughout the song, Clarkson added her signature runs and unreal high notes to Stapleton’s regretful lyrics. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 22 Feb. 2024 Even as lab-diamond sales have taken off, Wegman told me, most buyers have the same approach as that regretful bride. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 7 Feb. 2024 The scenes between the two, whether flirtatious, enraged, or regretful, are uncomfortably intimate to watch; so, too, are the anxious cavortings of their children. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 17 Dec. 2023 The first four episodes of the new season, which lead up to and include Diana’s death, present her as sad, knowing, regretful, even forgiving. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 15 Nov. 2023 Meanwhile, millennials spend the most at $1,016, but are the least regretful (55%). Chloe Berger, Fortune, 19 Sep. 2023 Nicki Minaj is still feeling regretful over her tardiness. Kirsty Hatcher, Peoplemag, 29 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'regretful.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1647, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of regretful was in 1647

Dictionary Entries Near regretful

Cite this Entry

“Regretful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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