regret

1 of 2

verb

re·​gret ri-ˈgret How to pronounce regret (audio)
regretted; regretting

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
regretter noun

regret

2 of 2

noun

1
: sorrow aroused by circumstances beyond one's control or power to repair
2
a
: an expression of distressing emotion (such as sorrow)
b
regrets plural : a note politely declining an invitation
Choose the Right Synonym for regret

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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Even worse, half of those who share their status later regret it. Jonathan Passmore, Quartz, 9 Nov. 2022 Progressives do not regret anything about the censorship of social media. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 31 Oct. 2022 This could be in reference to your eyes being bigger than your stomach and then overindulging in food or other comforts, leading to discomfort and regret. Chicago Tribune, 26 Oct. 2022 But Foster doesn’t regret anything about this period. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, 19 Oct. 2022 The customers who trust you may buy the extra offering and regret it. Erik Shani, Forbes, 16 Aug. 2022 Rivers didn’t regret the play call or the pass by Murphy. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, 13 Oct. 2022 Blea left a lucrative private practice to take the job of EMD, but despite the turmoil of the last year doesn’t regret his decision. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 21 Sep. 2022 That’s the decision Taylor and the offense wouldn’t regret. Mohammad Ahmad, cleveland, 23 Oct. 2022
Noun
How long before the current GM, Marks, goes the way of former GM Billy King, who admitted his regret five years after the Garnett/Pierce trade in an interview with Sports Illustrated? Tara Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Nov. 2022 Now, after selling Swift's masters in 2020, Braun has revealed his one regret about the deal. Emlyn Travis, EW.com, 30 Sep. 2022 In other words, figuring out whether guilt or shame is at the root of your regret can greatly influence your ability to take positive steps forward. Cathryne Keller, SELF, 24 Aug. 2022 In his book, Stretchy Little Black Pants, Lululemon founder Chip Wilson wrote about his regret of selling his business to a private equity firm. Jodie Cook, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022 Doucette has been particularly transparent about his regret over his steroid use on social media. Jake Traylor, NBC News, 13 Aug. 2022 To our regret and the Israelis’, our team directors decided that the match would take place behind closed doors. Eldad Beck, Sun Sentinel, 3 Aug. 2022 Walton had grown tired of lack of success with the Clippers, calling his failure to win in hometown San Diego — despite debilitating injuries — his greatest regret. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 June 2022 Grace Lidinsky-Smith, who is 28, has written about her regret over taking testosterone and having her breasts removed in her early 20s. New York Times, 15 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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

Dictionary Entries Near regret

Cite this Entry

“Regret.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/regret. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

regret 1 of 2

verb

re·​gret ri-ˈgret How to pronounce regret (audio)
regretted; regretting
1
a
: to mourn the loss or death of
b
: to miss very much
2
: to be keenly sorry for
3
: to experience regret

regret

2 of 2

noun

1
: sorrow aroused by events beyond one's control
2
a
: an expression of sorrow or disappointment
b
plural : a note politely turning down an invitation
regretful adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on regret

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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