- 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 for regret on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for regretted
In The Lay of the Land, Frank met with a failing octogenarian friend and visited a funeral home—and regretted both.Richard Ford’s Artful Survivalist Guide: The Return of Frank Bascombe
November 4, 2014
It was time to sell the GM building, something his son says he regretted until his death in 2003.‘Housewife Tycoon’ Took On ‘Mad Men’ NYC Real Estate Market and Won
October 26, 2014
Dima also regretted that they had just put the tools away before the man came in, hoping to finish before the match began.I Heard About the Latest Crazed Shooter While I Watched the World Cup with Guys He Almost Killed
July 1, 2014
And then I regretted turning down this, but I was so grateful that it came back around.James Franco Uncensored: The Actor on Broadway, NYT Hate, and That Half-Naked Instagram
May 4, 2014
He, quite reasonably, regretted doing it in the open water with a near stranger on national television.Juan Pablo Has Ruined ‘The Bachelor’
February 11, 2014
Otherwise I may behave in a manner to be regretted in my calmer moments.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Strange as it seemed, they regretted that he had not been able to make his break across the mountains.Way of the Lawless
They regretted nothing, although their sorrow seemed greater than they could bear.The Dream
He regretted to say that the book was not selling so well as he had hoped it would sell.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
No one could esteem him while living, and no one regretted him when dead.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
- (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 regretted
"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.)).