• synonyms


  1. deep and painful regret for wrongdoing; compunction.
  2. Obsolete. pity; compassion.
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Origin of remorse

1325–75; Middle English < Middle French remors < Medieval Latin remorsus, equivalent to Latin remord(ere) to bite again, vex, nag (re- re- + mordere to bite) + -tus suffix of v. action, with dt > s; see mordant
Related formspre·re·morse, noun

Synonyms for remorse

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for remorses

pity, penance, regret, compassion, sorrow, repentance, contrition, grief, shame, guilt, anguish, compunction, penitence, rue, contriteness, attrition, self-reproach

Examples from the Web for remorses

Historical Examples of remorses

  • Secondly, Upon the feeling any remorses for a crime, of which he has been guilty.

    A Treatise of Human Nature

    David Hume

  • Her remorses gained strength in proportion as she cherished them.

    Ormond, Volume III (of 3)

    Charles Brockden Brown

  • Phantoms, remorses and hells—they have all had their argument.

    Bohemian Days

    Geo. Alfred Townsend

  • There were some tears in his eyes compounded of brandy and nerves and affections and remorses as he hurried into the street.

    Young Mr. Barter's Repentance

    David Christie Murray

  • And could have his remorses upon it,—were these of the least use in present circumstances.

British Dictionary definitions for remorses


  1. a sense of deep regret and guilt for some misdeed
  2. compunction; pity; compassion
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Derived Formsremorseful, adjectiveremorsefully, adverbremorsefulness, noun

Word Origin for remorse

C14: from Medieval Latin remorsus a gnawing, from Latin remordēre to bite again, from re- + mordēre to bite
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 remorses



late 14c., from Old French remors (Modern French remords), from Medieval Latin remorsum, noun use of neuter past participle of Latin remordere "to vex, disturb," literally "to bite back," from re- "back" (see re-) + mordere "to bite" (see mordant).

The sense evolution was via the Medieval Latin phrase remorsus conscientiæ (translated into Middle English as ayenbite of inwit). Middle English also had a verb, remord "to strike with remorse, touch with compassion, prick one's conscience."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper