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 But Emmy voters may learn to regret this predictable decision. Washington Post, "Emmy Predictions: Amid newcomers, will ‘Thrones’ slay again?," 17 Sep. 2019 Since then, those who had rallied in support of Ahmadinejad, namely Khamenei’s conservative allies, came to regret their decision and have marginalized the former president and those who worked in his administration. Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times, "Iran’s former President Ahmadinejad relies on tweets to help maintain a public persona," 31 Aug. 2019 Hey Kiz, Are the Nuggets going to regret giving Jamal Murray all that money? Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Lunch Special: Which former Broncos quarterback do you want back on this current roster?," 26 Aug. 2019 The fact that the most expensive parts of the country also generally have the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per capita is another reason to regret that more people don’t live in those places. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "America’s dual housing crisis and what Democrats plan to do about it, explained," 30 July 2019 More hits, more walks, more reasons to regret Valdez's call-up mounted. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Framber Valdez gets torched in Astros' loss to Rangers," 12 July 2019 Don’t wait until [freedom] is gone to regret its loss. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s protesters put AirDrop to ingenious use to breach China’s Firewall," 8 July 2019 Nelson, 43, doesn’t regret choosing a career in social services, although her bachelor’s and master’s degrees left her with $100,000 in student loans, which are in deferment. Wendi C. Thomas, ProPublica, "The Nonprofit Hospital That Makes Millions, Owns a Collection Agency and Relentlessly Sues the Poor," 27 June 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Almost daily, national park staff received packages of rocks from all over the world with messages of regret. National Geographic, "Why Australia is banning climbers from this iconic natural landmark," 15 Sep. 2019 But after two arrests for larceny, his football offers disappeared, leaving him to hope his younger brother wouldn’t have to live with regrets. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "How Ky Bowman went from an Alabama football offer to the Warriors," 8 July 2019 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

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

26 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce regret (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for regret

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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