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

And more people would take them seriously if some of the candidates decided to acknowledge and regret their own party’s historic complicity in the problem. Jim Lardner, The New Yorker, "Something for the Democrats to Try at the Debates: a Little Togetherness," 12 Sep. 2019 The camera then cut to Taylor Swift, who has recently publicly regretted staying out of politics in the past. Melissa Locker, Time, "MTV Video Music Awards 2019: Weirdest, Wildest and Best Moments," 27 Aug. 2019 Even serial defaulter Argentina sold a 100-year bond in 2017, though those buyers may regret it now. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "The case for a 100-year US government bond," 22 Aug. 2019 The Money Family regrets to announce that Eddie passed away peacefully early this morning. Geoff Herbert | Gherbert@syracuse.com, al, "Eddie Money dead: ‘Take Me Home Tonight’ singer dies at 70," 13 Sep. 2019 Demolition expert Romero regrets that his comments to the Albuquerque Journal became fodder for conspiracy theorists. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Debunking the 9/11 Myths: Special Report - The World Trade Center," 10 Sep. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With the expedition approaching its final leg, the emotional highs of the early accomplishments had faded and left a slight sense of regret. The Economist, "The last of the great explorers," 6 Sep. 2019 However, regret is not a legal justification to breach a contract where one has no right to do so. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "What's Next in Zion Williamson's Extended Federal Lawsuit?," 22 Aug. 2019 Rubel, who also never met Cooley directly, has some regrets. Britni De La Cretaz, Longreads, "Flagrant Foul: Benching Teen Moms Before Title IX," 14 Aug. 2019 Dos Santos, 30, reportedly signed a multiyear deal, which America could come to regret. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "Soccer! USWNT is the greatest program in soccer history, men’s or women’s," 9 July 2019 But at other points in his career Hersh has expressed regret over this episode. Scott Sherman, The New York Review of Books, "A Muckraker’s Progress," 17 June 2019 Then and now, country music relies on its most lasting and familiar themes — that love often leads to heartbreak, cheatin’ and other drunken regrets; that Saturday night’s transgressions wind up in Sunday morning’s church pews. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "Ken Burns’s ‘Country Music’ is full of high praise and heartbreak, but short on analysis," 12 Sep. 2019 Schedule a wedding for the same day that Alabama plays LSU or Auburn takes on Georgia, and watch the regrets pour in. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al, "Are you a true Birmingham local? Answer these 15 questions," 9 Sep. 2019 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

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

12 Oct 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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