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 Bills, now 9-3 and leading the AFC East, clearly do not regret taking Allen (from Wyoming) with the No. 7 overall choice in the 2018 draft. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "49ers struggle to stop Josh Allen, who shreds childhood team in Buffalo victory," 7 Dec. 2020 But his image changed as Americans came to regret the government’s mistreatment of Native Americans, and by the second half of the 20th century he became known as a killer of native people. oregonlive, "Portland’s Custer Park will get new name; it’s called ‘A Park’ for now," 3 Dec. 2020 While disappointed, the group does not regret its recall efforts. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Not enough signatures were gathered to recall three Oconomowoc School Board members," 21 Nov. 2020 One player was even hurt during it, but Allen didn't regret it. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "IU football is 3-0 in Big Ten for first time since 1988, but wants more: 'It's just the beginning.'," 8 Nov. 2020 Each of the one-year mercenaries contributed during the regular season, so the Twins likely don’t regret the investment. Phil Miller, Star Tribune, "Twins signed five players for postseason help; only one played," 1 Oct. 2020 That has not been forgotten in the Cowboys’ locker room where players regret not making a strong immediate response. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "Cowboys aim for redemption after failing to put best foot forward against Washington in Week 7," 25 Nov. 2020 Holly Hunter plays a recently unemployed single mom who heads from Chicago to Baltimore to spend Thanksgiving with her family—only to immediately regret the decision. Jennifer M. Wood, Wired, "The 13 Best Holiday Movies to Stream This Season," 25 Nov. 2020 Charles hangs up in a huff but will soon learn to regret it once Lord Mountbatten is assassinated by an IRA explosion shortly after their call. Lauren Morgan, EW.com, "The Crown binge recap: Welcome to the Diana Years! (Episodes 1-4)," 18 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And Courtney Robertson who won Ben Flajnik's season once said her biggest packing regret on The Bachelor was not bringing a vibrator. Martha Sorren, refinery29.com, "What Matt James Really Thought Of Katie’s Vibrator Stunt On The Bachelor," 4 Jan. 2021 Will the Lakers regret not retaining one of their athletic centers from last season? Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "Lakers newsletter: Time to open the reader mailbag," 30 Dec. 2020 Watson has played well in hopeless circumstances, and not every mammoth quarterback contract brings instant regret. New York Times, "Quarterback Keeper? Jets, Browns and Bears Face Contract Decisions," 30 Dec. 2020 About the one regret Niekro had in his career was never making it to the World Series. Bill Madden, courant.com, "Phil Niekro, Braves and Yankees pitcher whose knuckleball earned him spot in Hall of Fame, dies at 81," 27 Dec. 2020 For my money, the greatest, most enduring Christmas classic is one that best utilizes melody and lyrics to meld regret with hope: a belief that optimism, even in the face of anguish, can carry us to better days. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Garcia: What the greatest Christmas song can teach us this year," 23 Dec. 2020 Excited about his second stint at Tulane, Hampton admitted one regret. G Smith, NOLA.com, "Easy call: Tulane's Willie Fritz said Chris Hampton was only coach he considered for defensive coordinator," 18 Dec. 2020 Giovani Bernard regret loose ball carriage on Cincinnati’s first drive, Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis snatching the recovery. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Dallas Cowboys shut down fumbling Bengals in Andy Dalton's return to Cincinnati," 13 Dec. 2020 Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton expressed regret on Sunday regarding the Supreme Court's decision to toss his lawsuit against four battleground states in a last-ditch effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "Texas attorney general laments Supreme Court tossing case," 13 Dec. 2020

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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Learn More about regret

Time Traveler for regret

Time Traveler

The first known use of regret was in the 14th century

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Statistics for regret

Last Updated

24 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Regret.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/regret. Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on regret

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