• synonyms


[ri-gret-fuh l]
See more synonyms for regretful on Thesaurus.com
  1. full of regret; sorrowful because of what is lost, gone, or done.
Show More

Origin of regretful

First recorded in 1640–50; regret + -ful
Related formsre·gret·ful·ly, adverbre·gret·ful·ness, nounun·re·gret·ful, adjectiveun·re·gret·ful·ly, adverbun·re·gret·ful·ness, noun
Can be confusedregretful regrettableregretfully regrettably
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for regretful

apologetic, ashamed, sorrowful, contrite, remorseful, disappointed, mournful, penitent, repentant, rueful, compunctious, attritional

Examples from the Web for regretful

Historical Examples of regretful

  • But he only gazed at her with a thoughtful, regretful perplexity.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport

    Robert Neilson Stephens

  • The handsome Cardinal was suave, courtly, regretful, but firm.

  • “That is quite true,” agreed the other, with a regretful sigh.

    The Bondwoman

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • "That is most unfortunate," replied the Count, in a regretful tone.

  • Naturally, that at first made him regretful, and later it made him jealous.

    The Winning Clue

    James Hay, Jr.

Word Origin and History for regretful


1640s, "full of regret," from regret + -ful. Regretfully, properly "with regret," incorrectly used in place of regrettably "it is to be regretted that; calling for regret" since at least 1965. "A regrettable use, prob. after HOPEFULLY adv.2" [OED].

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper