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2017 Word of the Year

rueful

[roo-fuh l] /ˈru fəl/
adjective
1.
causing sorrow or pity; pitiable; deplorable:
a rueful plight.
2.
feeling, showing, or expressing sorrow or pity; mournful; doleful:
the rueful look on her face.
Origin of rueful
1175-1225
First recorded in 1175-1225, rueful is from the Middle English word reowful. See rue1, -ful
Related forms
ruefully, adverb
ruefulness, noun
half-rueful, adjective
half-ruefully, adverb
unrueful, adjective
unruefully, adverb
unruefulness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ruefully
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • 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 Booth Tarkington
  • He reflected for a moment, and then ruefully shook his head.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for ruefully

rueful

/ˈruːfʊl/
adjective
1.
feeling or expressing sorrow or repentance: a rueful face
2.
inspiring sorrow or pity
Derived Forms
ruefully, adverb
ruefulness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for ruefully
adv.

early 13c., reufulike; see rueful + -ly (2).

rueful

adj.

early 13c., rewfulle, reowfule, from rue (n.2) + -ful. Related: Ruefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for ruefully

14
17
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