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 Warriors will regret losing those first-round draft picks, arriving right around the time the Big Three hits the twilight. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors’ aftermath: Was it worth all that?," 2 July 2019 Trump’s Supreme Court picks alone mean that liberals will regret losing the 2016 election for at least the next generation. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Tom Steyer’s $100 Million Vanity Project," 9 July 2019 On the Senate side, some of the politicians who called for Franken’s resignation go on the record as regretting that decision. Fortune, "What the Al Franken Story Says to Women: The Broadsheet," 23 July 2019 Bebe gave up May Ling in a fit of fear for the child's well-being, but regretted the decision and has been searching for her since. Alexis Jones, Harper's BAZAAR, "Little Fires Everywhere: Everything We Know About the New Hulu Show," 14 June 2019 Meanwhile some Francophone opponents to Biya’s government, regretted that Maurice Kanto, a rival to Biya in the October 2018 presidential election, who won 14% of votes according to the Constitutional Council, was not included in the talks. Paula Dupraz-dobias, Quartz Africa, "The Swiss luxury getaway of Cameroon’s president Biya has become a hotbed of conflict," 4 July 2019 Many of the conference attendees regretted the lack of Druze presence, vowing to begin outreach efforts in earnest. Josh Adler, National Geographic, "Making peace in the Golan Heights—between humans and wolves," 11 Apr. 2019 Safe to say, one online troll is regretting his decision to go after Ginger Zee of Good Morning America right about now. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'GMA' Star Ginger Zee Slams Online Twitter User Who Called Her a "Bimbo"," 20 Mar. 2019 So what was the one vote Graham regrets in Congress? Lawrence Mower, miamiherald, "Gwen Graham didn't always vote the party line in Congress. And she's fine with that.," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Panic rushed through his veins; regret flooded his mind. Tamara Wilson, CNN, "He was shot and paralyzed. Now he is living his best life in a wheelchair.," 12 Sep. 2019 Many of the faithful beat their chests and lashed themselves with chains in a symbolic expression of grief and regret for not being able to help Hussein before his martyrdom. Qassim Abdul-zahra And Zeina Karam, chicagotribune.com, "Officials: At least 31 Iraqi pilgrims die in stampede during holiday," 10 Sep. 2019 These almost invariably underline the significance of the film's title in the scheme of diplomacy and rewardingly reveal the hopes and regrets that come with the territory. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Human Factor': Film Review | Telluride 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 Bloomgren’s greatest regret is not taking his sons to watch Luck play in the NFL. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "Andrew Luck's retirement stuns Rice coaching staff," 27 Aug. 2019 From reckless naif to cautious veteran of pain and regret, Becc traces a route familiar to many of us. oregonlive.com, "5 novels to escape with this summer," 1 Aug. 2019 This latest expression of regret also comes as the prince is under pressure. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Friendship with Jeffrey Epstein cost Britain’s Prince Andrew a job in 2011," 24 Aug. 2019 Throw in an Elsinore goal-line stand midway through the third quarter, that led to a 97-yard touchdown drive for the Tigers, and Anderson may forever look back upon his head-coaching debut with a sense of regret. Barry Faulkner, Daily Pilot, "Fountain Valley football loses at Elsinore in Chris Anderson’s head-coaching debut," 23 Aug. 2019 Peter Fonda plays a lonely beekeeper with a persistent limp, a gruff demeanor and a lifetime’s worth of regrets. Justin Chang, chicagotribune.com, "Appreciation: The Peter Fonda role we should be talking about isn’t ‘Easy Rider,’ but ‘Ulee’s Gold’," 18 Aug. 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

31 Aug 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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