Dictionary.com

rueful

[ roo-fuhl ]
/ ˈru fəl /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: rueful / ruefulness on Thesaurus.com

adjective
causing sorrow or pity; pitiable; deplorable: a rueful plight.
feeling, showing, or expressing sorrow, repentance, or regret: the rueful look on her face.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of rueful

First recorded in 1175–1225, rueful is from the Middle English word reowful; see rue1, -ful

OTHER WORDS FROM rueful

Words nearby rueful

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rueful in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rueful

rueful
/ (ˈruːfʊl) /

adjective
feeling or expressing sorrow or repentancea rueful face
inspiring sorrow or pity

Derived forms of rueful

ruefully, adverbruefulness, 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
FEEDBACK