From Middle English regretten, regreten, from Old French regreter, regrater (“to lament”), from re- (intensive prefix) + *greter, *grater (“to weep”), from Frankish *grātan (“to weep, mourn, lament”), from Proto-Germanic *grētaną (“to weep”), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰreh₁d- (“to sound”); and Frankish *greutan (“to cry, weep”), from Proto-Germanic *greutaną (“to weep, cry”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰrewd- (“to weep, be sad”), equivalent to re- + greet. Cognate with Old 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 (grētan, “to weep”). More at greet.
- 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.
- He regretted his words.
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
- 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.
- (more generally) To feel sorry about (any thing).
- I regret that I have to do this, but I don't have a choice.
- (archaic, transitive) To miss; to feel the loss or absence of; to mourn.
- 1845, The Church of England Magazine, volume 19, page 301:
- He more than ever regretted his home, and with increased desire longed to see his family.
- 1886 May 1 – July 31, Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped, being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751: […], London, Paris: Cassell & Company, Limited., published 1886, →OCLC:
- This [the Cage] was but one of Cluny’s hiding-places; he had caves, besides, and underground chambers in several parts of his country; and following the reports of his scouts, he moved from one to another as the soldiers drew near or moved away. By this manner of living, and thanks to the affection of his clan, he had not only stayed all this time in safety, while so many others had fled or been taken and slain: but stayed four or five years longer, and only went to France at last by the express command of his master. There he soon died; and it is strange to reflect that he may have regretted his Cage upon Ben Alder.
- "Regret" 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
- 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.
- 1828, Thomas Macaulay, John Dryden:
- What man does not remember with regret the first time he read Robinson Crusoe?
- 1702–1704, Edward [Hyde, 1st] Earl of Clarendon, “(please specify |book=I to XVI)”, in The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England, Begun in the Year 1641. […], Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed at the Theater, published 1707, →OCLC:
- Never any prince expressed a more lively regret for the loss of a servant.
- (obsolete) Dislike; aversion.
- 1667, Richard Allestree, The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety:
- Is it a vertue to have some ineffective regrets to damnation, and such a Vertue too, as shall serve to ballance all our vices?
- (decision theory) The amount of avoidable loss that results from choosing the wrong action.
- 2002, Bernd Droge, On the Minimax Regret Estimation of a Restricted Normal Mean, and Implications:
- Under squared errorloss we show that there exists unique minimax regret solution for the problem of selecting the threshold.
- 2012, Herman Chernoff, Lincoln E. Moses, Elementary Decision Theory, page 12:
- Each loss then represents this unavoidable loss plus a regret (loss due to ignorance of Ө). Subtracting these unavoidable losses, we obtain the regret table, Table 1.7, and the average regret table, Table 1.8.
- “regret”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “regret”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
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.
regret m (plural regrets)
- “regret”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
regret (plural regrets)
regret n (plural regrete)