Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Alternative forms[edit]


Believed to have been formed (with uncertainty, due to the unusual formation) as re- +‎ pine, with the verb (first attested in 1529) giving rise to the noun (first attested in 1593); compare the Middle English verb repinen, which may be related.



repine (third-person singular simple present repines, present participle repining, simple past and past participle repined)

  1. (intransitive, now literary) To regret; to complain. [from 15th century]
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069:, II.3.6:
      But many times we complain, repine, and mutter without a cause, we give way to passions we may resist and will not.
    • Alexander Pope
      What if the head, the eye, or ear repined / To serve mere engines to the ruling mind?
    • 1958, John W. Peterson, Night of Miracles:
      no more need men on earth repine
    • 1988, Anthony Burgess, Any Old Iron:
      Beatrix invited me no more to tea but I did not greatly repine.
  2. To fail; to wane.
    • Spenser
      Repining courage yields no foot to foe.