- to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.): He no sooner spoke than he regretted it.
- to think of with a sense of loss: to regret one's vanished youth.
- a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.
- a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss, disappointment, etc.
- regrets, a polite, usually formal refusal of an invitation: I sent her my regrets.
- a note expressing regret at one's inability to accept an invitation: I have had four acceptances and one regret.
Origin of regret
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for regret
Scalise has called the talk, which he delivered in a hotel outside New Orleans, “a mistake I regret.”The Louisiana Racists Who Courted Steve Scalise
January 3, 2015
And his understandable expressions of regret—now that his book is tanking—come as too little, too late.The Bloodiest Media Coups of 2014
December 22, 2014
It is based on this regret, actually, with respect to the attitude we have had toward them.Joseph Campbell on the Roots of Halloween
October 31, 2014
He would not relinquish presidential power and live to regret it, like his cousin.From The Square Deal to The New Deal: The Overlapping Political Identities of TR and FDR
September 9, 2014
Pitre is right, combat is about screw-ups, bad officers, apathetic contractors, regret, unfairness, and impossible missions.'Fives and Twenty-Fives' Is Fiction Honed in a Combat Zone
August 25, 2014
Percival fancied there was a look almost of regret in the girl's eyes.
Then I regret to say that the boy, Robert Rushton, is unworthy of your friendship.
I regret this, but did the best I could under the circumstances.
If he carried her triumphantly off, doubtless his regret for that would eventually be as great.
We regret that his tours are so rapid, and his journals so brief.
- (may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to feel sorry, repentant, or upset about
- to bemoan or grieve the death or loss of
- a sense of repentance, guilt, or sorrow, as over some wrong done or an unfulfilled ambition
- a sense of loss or grief
- (plural) a polite expression of sadness, esp in a formal refusal of an invitation
Word Origin and History for regret
"to look back with distress or sorrowful longing; to grieve for on remembering," late 14c., from Old French regreter "long after, bewail, lament someone's death; ask the help of" (Modern French regretter), from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + -greter, possibly from Frankish or some other Germanic source (cf. Old English grætan "to weep;" Old Norse grata "to weep, groan"), from Proto-Germanic *gretan "weep." "Not found in other Romance languages, and variously explained" [Century Dictionary].
Related: Regretted; regretting. Replaced Old English ofþyncan, from of- "off, away," here denoting opposition, + þyncan "seem, seem fit" (as in methinks).
"pain or distress in the mind at something done or left undone," 1530s, from the verb, or from Middle French regret, back-formation from regreter (see regret (v.)).