causing sorrow or pity; pitiable; deplorable: a rueful plight.
feeling, showing, or expressing sorrow, repentance, or regret: the rueful look on her face.
- rue·ful·ly, adverb
- rue·ful·ness, noun
- half-rue·ful, adjective
- un·rue·ful, adjective
- un·rue·ful·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use rueful in a sentence
Then she paused, glanced away from the camera, and took a long, rueful breath.YouTuber Valkyrae’s skincare fiasco proves online drama doesn’t produce accountability | Nathan Grayson | October 28, 2021 | Washington Post
rueful laughter from both men turned to thoughtfulness in Stittsworth.The Strange, True Tale of the Old-Timey Goat Testicle-Implanting 'Governor' | Penny Lane | September 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
You can only ever see it from an outsider and comment on it with the rueful wisdom of a non participant.Benedict Cumberbatch’s Revealing Reddit AMA: On Julian Assange’s Letter and Fame | Marlow Stern | October 11, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
A discussion of a London cheese shop sends her into paroxysms of rueful joy.
But most of them must be delivered from on the peninsula, where Bob is standing, casting a rueful eye on the whole show.
“You can pick which lines can come out,” Spitzer said with a rueful smile.
Gwynne regarded the thin sole of his house shoe with so rueful a countenance that the judge laughed outright.Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
Pale, lean, taciturn and somewhat deaf, he bore much resemblance to the Knight of the rueful Countenance.Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A -- Z | Anatole Cerfberr and Jules Franois Christophe
By this time he was in a wholly different mood; angry with himself, and full of rueful thought about his wife.Marriage la mode | Mrs. Humphry Ward
At the rueful outcry, Clifford turned, just in time to see the bobbing bundle disappear in the muddy water.A Fortune Hunter; Or, The Old Stone Corral | John Dunloe Carteret
In order to carry out my wife's orders, I had to disentangle Susan from Liosha's embrace and pack her off rueful to the nursery.Jaffery | William J. Locke
British Dictionary definitions for rueful
feeling or expressing sorrow or repentance: a rueful face
inspiring sorrow or pity
- 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