[ ri-gret ]
See synonyms for: regretregretsregrettedregretting on

verb (used with object),re·gret·ted, re·gret·ting.
  1. to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.): He no sooner spoke than he regretted it.

  2. to think of with a sense of loss: to regret one's vanished youth.

  1. a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.

  2. a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss, disappointment, etc.

  1. regrets, a polite, usually formal refusal of an invitation: I sent her my regrets.

  2. a note expressing regret at one's inability to accept an invitation: I have had four acceptances and one regret.

Origin of regret

First recorded in 1375–1425; Middle English regrete, regretten (verb), from Middle French regreter, Old French, equivalent to re- re- + -greter, perhaps from Germanic (cf. greet2)

synonym study For regret

4. Regret, penitence, remorse imply a sense of sorrow about events in the past, usually wrongs committed or errors made. Regret is distress of mind, sorrow for what has been done or failed to be done: to have no regrets. Penitence implies a sense of sin or misdoing, a feeling of contrition and determination not to sin again: a humble sense of penitence. Remorse implies pangs, qualms of conscience, a sense of guilt, regret, and repentance for sins committed, wrongs done, or duty not performed: a deep sense of remorse.

Other words for regret

Opposites for regret

Other words from regret

  • re·gret·ter, noun
  • re·gret·ting·ly, adverb
  • un·re·gret·ted, adjective
  • un·re·gret·ting, adjective

Words Nearby regret Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use regret in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for regret


/ (rɪˈɡrɛt) /

verb-grets, -gretting or -gretted (tr)
  1. (may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to feel sorry, repentant, or upset about

  2. to bemoan or grieve the death or loss of

  1. a sense of repentance, guilt, or sorrow, as over some wrong done or an unfulfilled ambition

  2. a sense of loss or grief

  1. (plural) a polite expression of sadness, esp in a formal refusal of an invitation

Origin of regret

C14: from Old French regrete, of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse grāta to weep

usage For regret

Regretful and regretfully are sometimes wrongly used where regrettable and regrettably are meant: he gave a regretful smile; he smiled regretfully; this is a regrettable (not regretful) mistake; regrettably (not regretfully) , I shall be unable to attend

Derived forms of regret

  • regretful, adjective
  • regretfully, adverb
  • regretfulness, noun
  • regrettable, adjective
  • regrettably, adverb
  • regretter, 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