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

Derived terms[edit]

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?)

See also[edit]

Translations[edit]

External links[edit]



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

Related terms[edit]


Interlingua[edit]

Noun[edit]

regret (plural regrets)

  1. regret, repentance

Related terms[edit]