[ roo-fuh l ]
/ ˈru fəl /


causing sorrow or pity; pitiable; deplorable: a rueful plight.
feeling, showing, or expressing sorrow or pity; mournful; doleful: the rueful look on her face.

Origin of rueful

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

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ruefully

British Dictionary definitions for ruefully


/ (ˈruːfʊl) /


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

Derived Forms

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