regret

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English regretten, from Old French regreter, regrater ‎(to lament), from re- ‎(intensive prefix) + *greter, *grater ‎(to weep), from Old Frankish *grētan ("to weep, mourn, lament"; from Proto-Germanic *grētaną ‎(to weep)), and Old Frankish *grēotan ‎(to cry, weep), from Proto-Germanic *greutaną ‎(to weep, cry), from Proto-Indo-European *ghrew- ‎(to weep, be sad), equivalent to re- +‎ greet. Cognate with Middle High German grāzan ‎(to cry), Old English grǣtan ‎(to weep, greet), Old English grēotan ‎(to weep, lament), Old Norse gráta ‎(to weep, groan), Gothic 𐌲𐍂𐌴𐍄𐌰𐌽 ‎(gretan, to weep). More at greet.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (US) IPA(key): /ɹiˈɡɹɛt/, /ɹəˈɡɹɛt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛt

Verb[edit]

regret ‎(third-person singular simple present regrets, present participle regretting, simple past and past participle regretted)

  1. To feel sorry about (a thing that has or has not happened), afterthink: to wish that a thing had not happened, that something else had happened instead.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, The Celebrity:
      Judge Short had gone to town, and Farrar was off for a three days' cruise up the lake. I was bitterly regretting I had not gone with him when the distant notes of a coach horn reached my ear, and I descried a four-in-hand winding its way up the inn road from the direction of Mohair.
    He regretted his words.
  2. (more generally) To feel sorry about (any thing).
    I regret that I have to do this, but I don't have a choice.

Usage notes[edit]

This is a catenative verb that takes the gerund (the -ing form), except in set phrases with tell, say, and inform, where the to infinitive is used. See Appendix:English catenative verbs

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Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

regret ‎(countable and uncountable, plural regrets)

  1. Emotional pain on account of something done or experienced in the past, with a wish that it had been different; a looking back with dissatisfaction or with longing.
    • Macaulay
      What man does not remember with regret the first time he read Robinson Crusoe?
    • Clarendon
      Never any prince expressed a more lively regret for the loss of a servant.
    • Washington Irving
      From its peaceful bosom [the grave] spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections.
  2. (obsolete) Dislike; aversion.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dr. H. More to this entry?)

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French regret, from Old French regret ‎(lamentation, complaint), deverbal of regreter ‎(to lament), from re- ‎(intensive prefix-) +‎ greter ‎(to weep), from Frankish *grêtan ‎(to weep, mourn, lament), from Proto-Germanic *grētaną ‎(to weep) and Frankish *grêotan ‎(to cry, weep), from Proto-Germanic *greutaną ‎(to weep, cry), from Proto-Indo-European *ghrew- ‎(to weep, be sad). More at regret.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

regret m ‎(plural regrets)

  1. regret

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Interlingua[edit]

Noun[edit]

regret ‎(plural regrets)

  1. regret, repentance

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