re·​gret·​ful·​ly ri-ˈgret-fə-lē How to pronounce regretfully (audio)
: with regret : in a regretful way
had to regretfully decline the invitation
speaking/sighing regretfully
Having said all that, I must also say, regretfully, that "The Road to Mecca" seemed somehow unsatisfying to me, though I'm not sure why.Mimi Kramer
used to say that something is regretted
Regretfully, I won't be able to help.

Examples of regretfully in a Sentence

“I must leave now,” he said regretfully. I must regretfully decline your invitation.
Recent Examples on the Web Kyle Shanahan regretfully did not get McCaffrey a fifth touchdown to match the 49ers’ franchise record held by Jerry Rice and Ricky Watters, even after the 49ers reached the 1-yard line, where the ball instead went to Kyle Juszczyk for no gain before Brock Purdy scored on a quarterback sneak. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 4 Feb. 2024 The Olivia Rodrigo, who just spilled her most embarrassing, jealous, and regretfully heartbreaking secrets in the NPR Tiny Desk office, feels lightyears away from the version of herself who stripped down songs from Sour at the DMV in 2021. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 11 Dec. 2023 But Hinton has come to think, regretfully, that digital intelligence might be more powerful. Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker, 13 Nov. 2023 The four-part series is a powerful and haunting addition to the streamer’s onslaught of true-crime fare, capturing a place and time that many Angelenos regretfully claim as part of their city’s collective history. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2023 Coming Band rocked the hall with a string of Motown favorites, and as the dance floor filled up, the Observer regretfully rounded up his coterie to head up and across the bay for the second event of the evening. al, 6 Feb. 2023 Pointing out Frank Sinatra, Stoppard said regretfully that the signature had faded from too much sunlight. Maureen Dowd, New York Times, 7 Sep. 2022 This pig's companion was named, Mike told us regretfully, Miss Piggy. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 25 Jan. 2012 Hamilton smiled regretfully through his TV interviews. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 23 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'regretfully.' 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

1682, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of regretfully was in 1682

Dictionary Entries Near regretfully

Cite this Entry

“Regretfully.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


re·​gret·​ful·​ly ri-ˈgret-fə-lē How to pronounce regretfully (audio)
: in a way that is full of regret
I must regretfully decline your invitation
: I regret : we regret
regretfully, we can't go

More from Merriam-Webster on regretfully

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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