- 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 regretting
Presumably to pursue a long career of regretting that he left a lead role on the best show on network television.Life After TV Death: How Shows Like ‘Game of Thrones’ Kill Your Favorite Characters
April 15, 2014
It's better to regret not having kids then having them and regretting it.Why I Choose to Be Child-Free: Readers Share Their Stories
February 27, 2013
I gave way to my despair, regretting that I had let him go away.My Double Life
But as it has gone so far, and it is necessary for us to act, it is of no use shrinking or regretting.Barnaby Rudge
Ever since he had been a master-printer on his own account, he had been regretting the fact.Cleo The Magnificent
At every hour, he had to listen to his wife praising and regretting her first husband.Therese Raquin
You will be regretting by now that you did not kill me too, as I invited you on that occasion.Scaramouche
- (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 regretting
"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.)).