Definition of rueful
- rueful squalid poverty … by every wayside
- —John Morley
He gave me a rueful smile and apologized.
the rueful faces of friends and family who had gathered to pay their last respects
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rueful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
: showing or feeling regret for something done
What made you want to look up rueful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
investment of mental or emotional energy
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