- causing sorrow or pity; pitiable; deplorable: a rueful plight.
- feeling, showing, or expressing sorrow or pity; mournful; doleful: the rueful look on her face.
Origin of rueful
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ruefully
Perhaps that name should not be felt so ruefully today, despite the reversion to authoritarian control in Egypt.You Say You Want to Name a Revolution?
October 5, 2014
And yet, Norton says ruefully, “You know the old expression: ‘Wherever I went, there I was.’ ”Jim Norton And His Many Vices
July 25, 2014
Somewhere, a no-longer-in-the-league Tebow is ruefully nodding.Don’t Cry for Johnny Football. The NFL’s 22nd Pick Will Do Just Fine.
May 9, 2014
At the climax of the play, Willy Loman ruefully tells his two sons that he was fired that day from his job.From Katrina to the Clink: Ex New Orleans Mayor Heads to Prison
February 13, 2014
“Not well,” he says ruefully when I ask how the distinguished former Nightly News anchorman reacted.Banter With The Beast: MSNBC’s Head Honcho Phil Griffin on Admiring Roger Ailes and More
January 30, 2014
She drew a package from the locker and looked at it ruefully.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
"I'm disappointed myself," he said, ruefully contemplating the letter.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
"But some of Pepsy's ideas and plans have been very big, Walter," his aunt said ruefully.Pee-wee Harris
Percy Keese Fitzhugh
"That isn't the way your mother looks at it," Adams said, ruefully.Alice Adams
He reflected for a moment, and then ruefully shook his head.Galusha the Magnificent
Joseph C. Lincoln
- feeling or expressing sorrow or repentancea rueful face
- inspiring sorrow or pity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for ruefully
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper