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v. re·gret·ted, re·gret·ting, re·grets
1. To feel sorry, disappointed, distressed, or remorseful about: I regret not speaking to her before she left.
2. To remember with a feeling of loss or sorrow; mourn: "He almost regretted the penury which he had suffered during the last two years since the desperate struggle merely to keep body and soul together had deadened the pain of living" (W. Somerset Maugham).
To feel regret.
1. A feeling of sorrow, disappointment, distress, or remorse about something that one wishes could be different.
2. A sense of loss and longing for someone or something gone or passed out of existence: "We have both had flashes of regret for those vanished, golden people" (Anne Rivers Siddons).
3. regrets A courteous expression of regret, especially at having to decline an invitation.

[Middle English regretten, to lament, from Old French regreter : re-, re- + -greter, to weep (perhaps of Germanic origin).]

re·gret′ter n.
Synonyms: regret, sorrow, grief, anguish, woe, heartbreak
These nouns denote mental distress. Regret has the broadest range, from mere disappointment to a painful sense of dissatisfaction or self-reproach, as over something lost or done: She looked back with regret on the pain she had caused her family. He had no regrets about leaving his job.
Sorrow connotes sadness caused by misfortune, affliction, or loss; it can also imply contrition: "sorrow for his ... children, who needed his protection, and whom he could not protect" (James Baldwin).
Grief is deep, acute personal sorrow, as that arising from irreplaceable loss: "Grief fills the room up of my absent child, / Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me" (Shakespeare).
Anguish implies agonizing, excruciating mental pain: "I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement" (Abraham Lincoln).
Woe is intense, often prolonged wretchedness or misery: "the deep, unutterable woe / Which none save exiles feel" (W.E. Aytoun).
Heartbreak is overwhelming grief: "Better a little chiding than a great deal of heartbreak" (Shakespeare).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


vb (tr) , -grets, -gretting or -gretted
1. (may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to feel sorry, repentant, or upset about
2. to bemoan or grieve the death or loss of
3. a sense of repentance, guilt, or sorrow, as over some wrong done or an unfulfilled ambition
4. a sense of loss or grief
5. (plural) a polite expression of sadness, esp in a formal refusal of an invitation
[C14: from Old French regrete, of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse grāta to weep]
reˈgretful adj
reˈgretfully adv
reˈgretfulness n
reˈgrettable adj
reˈgrettably adv
reˈgretter n
Usage: Regretful and regretfully are sometimes wrongly used where regrettable and regrettably are meant: he gave a regretful smile; he smiled regretfully; this is a regrettable (not regretful) mistake; regrettably (not regretfully), I shall be unable to attend
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



v. -gret•ted, -gret•ting,
n. v.t.
1. to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.).
2. to think of with a sense of loss.
3. a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.
4. a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss, etc.
5. regrets, a polite, usu. formal refusal of an invitation.
[1300–50; Middle English regretten (v.) < Middle French regreter, Old French]
re•gret′ter, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. Remorse is as the heart in which it grows —Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    Coleridge’s poem, Remorse, continues as follows: “If that be gentle, it drops balmy dews of true repentance; but if proud and gloomy, it is the poison tree, that pierces to the inmost.”

  2. Repentance, like the sea, is always open to the ventures —Shimoni Yalkut
  3. Repentance, without amendment, is like continually pumping without mending the leak —Lewis W. Dilwyn
  4. Repentance follows crime … as changes follow time —Percy Bysshe Shelley
  5. Regret is like a mountaintop from which we survey our dead life, a mountaintop on which we pause and ponder, and very often looking into the twilight we ask ourselves whether it would be well to send a letter or some token —George Moore
  6. The pang of regret, sharp as a sword thrust —L. P. Hartley
  7. Regret is like tears seeping through closed eyelids —Galway Kinnell
  8. (When I fall) let me fall without regret like a leaf —Wendell Berry
  9. Remorseless as an alarm clock —Anon
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


be sorry
1. sadness and disappointment

Regret and be sorry are both used to say that someone feels sadness or disappointment about something that has happened, or about something they have done. Regret is more formal than be sorry.

You can say that you regret something or are sorry about it.

I immediately regretted my decision.
Astrid was sorry about leaving abruptly.

You can also say that you regret or are sorry that something has happened.

Pisarev regretted that no real changes had occurred.
He was sorry he had agreed to stay.

You can also say that you regret doing something.

None of the women I spoke to regretted making this change.

Be Careful!
Don't say that you 'are sorry doing' something.

2. apologizing

When you are apologizing to someone for something that has happened, you can say that you are sorry about it.

I'm sorry about the mess – I'll clean up.

You can also report someone's apology by saying that they are sorry about something.

She was very sorry about all the trouble she'd caused.

Be Careful!
Don't say that you are 'sorry for' something.

In conversation, don't apologize by saying that you 'regret' something. Regret is only used in formal letters and announcements.

London Transport regrets any inconvenience caused by these delays.
3. giving bad news

When you are giving someone some bad news, you can begin by saying 'I'm sorry to tell you...'. In a formal letter, you say 'I regret to inform you...'.

I'm very sorry to tell you this, but she's dead.
I regret to inform you that your application has not been successful.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


Past participle: regretted
Gerund: regretting

I regret
you regret
he/she/it regrets
we regret
you regret
they regret
I regretted
you regretted
he/she/it regretted
we regretted
you regretted
they regretted
Present Continuous
I am regretting
you are regretting
he/she/it is regretting
we are regretting
you are regretting
they are regretting
Present Perfect
I have regretted
you have regretted
he/she/it has regretted
we have regretted
you have regretted
they have regretted
Past Continuous
I was regretting
you were regretting
he/she/it was regretting
we were regretting
you were regretting
they were regretting
Past Perfect
I had regretted
you had regretted
he/she/it had regretted
we had regretted
you had regretted
they had regretted
I will regret
you will regret
he/she/it will regret
we will regret
you will regret
they will regret
Future Perfect
I will have regretted
you will have regretted
he/she/it will have regretted
we will have regretted
you will have regretted
they will have regretted
Future Continuous
I will be regretting
you will be regretting
he/she/it will be regretting
we will be regretting
you will be regretting
they will be regretting
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been regretting
you have been regretting
he/she/it has been regretting
we have been regretting
you have been regretting
they have been regretting
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been regretting
you will have been regretting
he/she/it will have been regretting
we will have been regretting
you will have been regretting
they will have been regretting
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been regretting
you had been regretting
he/she/it had been regretting
we had been regretting
you had been regretting
they had been regretting
I would regret
you would regret
he/she/it would regret
we would regret
you would regret
they would regret
Past Conditional
I would have regretted
you would have regretted
he/she/it would have regretted
we would have regretted
you would have regretted
they would have regretted
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.regret - sadness associated with some wrong done or some disappointmentregret - sadness associated with some wrong done or some disappointment; "he drank to drown his sorrows"; "he wrote a note expressing his regret"; "to his rue, the error cost him the game"
sadness, unhappiness - emotions experienced when not in a state of well-being
contriteness, contrition, attrition - sorrow for sin arising from fear of damnation
compunction, remorse, self-reproach - a feeling of deep regret (usually for some misdeed)
Verb1.regret - feel remorse for; feel sorry for; be contrite about
feel, experience - undergo an emotional sensation or be in a particular state of mind; "She felt resentful"; "He felt regret"
2.regret - feel sad about the loss or absence of
miss - feel or suffer from the lack of; "He misses his mother"
3.regret - decline formally or politely; "I regret I can't come to the party"
refuse, decline - show unwillingness towards; "he declined to join the group on a hike"
regret - express with regret; "I regret to say that you did not gain admission to Harvard"
4.regret - express with regret; "I regret to say that you did not gain admission to Harvard"
inform - impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to; "I informed him of his rights"
regret - decline formally or politely; "I regret I can't come to the party"
fear - be sorry; used to introduce an unpleasant statement; "I fear I won't make it to your wedding party"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. be or feel sorry about, feel remorse about, be upset about, rue, deplore, bemoan, repent (of), weep over, bewail, cry over spilt milk She regrets having given up her home.
be or feel sorry about be happy about, be satisfied with, rejoice over, have not looked back, feel satisfaction with
2. mourn, miss, lament, weep over, sigh over, grieve for or over, pine for or over I regret the passing of the old era.
1. remorse, compunction, self-reproach, pang of conscience, bitterness, repentance, contrition, penitence, ruefulness He has no regrets about retiring.
2. sorrow, disappointment, grief, sadness, unhappiness, lamentation, dejection He expressed great regret.
sorrow pleasure, satisfaction, contentment, callousness, lack of compassion, impenitence
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


To feel or express sorrow for:
1. Unhappiness caused by the failure of one's hopes, desires, or expectations:
2. A statement of acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon.Used in plural:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
أَسَف، نَدَمنَدَميَنْدَمُ عَلَىيَنْدَم، يأسَف
eftirsjá; harmur; söknuîursjá eftir
gailėtissu liūdesiu
sự ân hậntiếc


A. N
1. (= sorrow) → pena f, pesar m
she accepted his resignation with regretaceptó su dimisión con pena or pesar
the President expressed his regret for the deaths of civiliansel presidente expresó su pesar or dolor por las muertes de los civiles
my one or only regret is that I didn't see her before she diedlo único que siento or lamento es no haberla visto antes de que muriera
I felt no regret at giving up my workno sentí dejar el trabajo
much to my regret; to my great regretcon gran pesar mío
2. (= remorse) → remordimiento(s) m(pl)
I felt a pang of regretme entraron remordimientos
I have no regretsno me arrepiento de nada
3. regrets (= excuses) → excusas fpl, disculpas fpl
to send one's regretsexcusarse or mandar sus disculpas (por no poder acudir)
1. (= apologize for, be sorry for) [+ death, inconvenience, error] → lamentar
we regret any inconvenience caused by the delaylamentamos cualquier inconveniente que les pueda haber causado el retraso
it is to be regretted that he did not act soonerlo lamentable es que no actuó antes
the President regrets (that) he cannot see you todayel presidente lamenta or siente no poder verle hoy
we regret to inform you thatlamentamos tener que informarle que ...
her lack of co-operation is nothing new, I regret to saylamento decir que su falta de cooperación no es algo nuevo
we regret having to do this, but it is necessarylamentamos or sentimos tener que hacer esto, pero es necesario
he regretted what had happenedlamentó lo ocurrido
2. (= rue) [+ decision] → arrepentirse de, lamentar
you won't regret it!¡no te arrepentirás!, ¡no lo lamentarás!
he regrets saying itse arrepiente de or lamenta haberlo dicho
he was regretting that he had asked the questionse arrepentía de or lamentaba haber hecho la pregunta
I don't regret what I didno me arrepiento de or lamento lo que hice
to live to regret stharrepentirse de or lamentar algo más tarde
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


nregret m
to have no regrets → n'avoir aucun regret, ne rien regretter
I have no regrets → Je ne regrette rien., Je n'ai aucun regret.
to have no regrets about sth → ne pas regretter qch
He said he had no regrets about retiring → Il a déclaré qu'il ne regrettait pas d'avoir pris sa retraite.
with regret → avec regret
vt [+ action, event, decision] → regretter
Give me the money or you'll regret it! → Donne-moi l'argent, sinon tu vas le regretter!
to regret doing sth → regretter d'avoir fait qch
to regret (that) ... → regretter de ... + infin, regretter que ... + subj
Ellis regretted that he had asked the question → Ellis regretta d'avoir posé la question.
I regret that he was not given the correct information → Je regrette qu'on ne lui ait pas donné les bonnes informations.
we regret to inform you that ... → nous sommes au regret de vous informer que ...
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


vtbedauern; one’s youth, lost opportunitynachtrauern (+dat); I regret that we will not be comingich bedauere, dass wir nicht kommen können; to regret the fact that …(die Tatsache) bedauern, dass …; I regret to say that …ich muss Ihnen leider mitteilen, dass …; he is very ill, I regret to sayer ist leider or bedauerlicherweise sehr krank; we regret to learn that …wir hören mit Bedauern, dass …; we regret any inconvenience causedfür eventuelle Unannehmlichkeiten bitten wir um Verständnis; it is to be regretted that …es ist bedauerlich, dass …; you won’t regret it!Sie werden es nicht bereuen; this matter is much regretteddieser Vorfall hat großes Bedauern ausgelöst
nBedauern nt no pl; to feel regret for one’s past youthseiner vergangenen Jugend (dat)nachtrauern; much to my regretsehr zu meinem Bedauern; I have no regretsich bereue nichts; please give her my regrets that I cannot comebitte, sagen Sie ihr, dass ich leider nicht kommen kann; he sends his regretser lässt sich entschuldigen, er muss leider absagen
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. n
a.rimpianto, rammarico
much to my regret, to my great regret → con mio grande dispiacere
I have no regrets → non ho rimpianti
b. regrets npl (excuses) → scuse fpl
2. vt (news, death) → essere dispiaciuto/a per, essere desolato/a per
he is very ill, I regret to say → purtroppo è molto malato
I regret that I will be unable to attend your party (frm) → mi rincresce (di) non poter venire alla vostra festa
we regret to inform you that ... (frm) → siamo spiacenti di informarla che...
I regret that I/he cannot help → mi rincresce (di) non poter aiutare/che lui non possa aiutare
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(rəˈgret) past tense, past participle reˈgretted verb
to be sorry about. I regret my foolish behaviour; I regret that I missed the concert; I regret missing the concert; I regret to inform you that your application for the job was unsuccessful.
a feeling of sorrow, or of having done something wrong. I have no regrets / I feel no regret about what I did; It was with deep regret that I heard the news of his death.
reˈgretful adjective
feeling regret.
reˈgretfully adverb
with regret. Regretfully, we have had to turn down your offer.
reˈgrettable adjective
a regrettable mistake.
reˈgrettably adverb

regrettable is spelt with two ts.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


نَدَم, يَنْدَمُ عَلَى lítost, litovat fortryde, sorg Bedauern μεταμέλεια, μετανιώνω lamentar, pesar katua, katumus regret, regretter žaljenje, zažaliti rammarico, rimpiangere 後悔, 後悔する 후회, 후회하다 betreuren, spijt anger, beklage pożałować, żal arrepender-se, arrependimento, pesar сожаление, сожалеть ånger, ångra เสียใจ, ความเสียใจ pişman olmak, pişmanlık sự ân hận, tiếc 后悔, 遗憾
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n. sentimiento de pesar; remordimiento; sentir, lamentar, deplorar;
I ___ to tell yousiento decirle, decirte.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
'For SOME things only--I wonder what should make you regret it?'
Therefore I have read with profound regret, in that article upon the yachting season of a certain year, that the seamanship on board racing yachts is not now what it used to be only a few, very few, years ago.
I am not only persuaded of Herncastle's guilt; I am even fanciful enough to believe that he will live to regret it, if he keeps the Diamond; and that others will live to regret taking it from him, if he gives the Diamond away.
In Rome, along at first, you are full of regrets that Michelangelo died; but by and by, you only regret that you didn't see him do it.
He was suffering from disappointment and regret, grieving over what was, and wishing for what could never be.
YOUR sense of honour and honesty would have led you, I know, when aware of your situation, to attempt all the economy that would appear to you possible: and, perhaps, as long as your frugality retrenched only on your own comfort, you might have been suffered to practice it, but beyond that-- and how little could the utmost of your single management do to stop the ruin which had begun before your marriage?-- Beyond THAT, had you endeavoured, however reasonably, to abridge HIS enjoyments, is it not to be feared, that instead of prevailing on feelings so selfish to consent to it, you would have lessened your own influence on his heart, and made him regret the connection which had involved him in such difficulties?"
"That delightful time, that generous season, that ruling by warm blood, were all very fine things, no doubt; but I do not regret them at all.
"However happy you may be, you must regret your freedom."
Finding that I took an interest in the subject, he expressed a regret that the true nature and extent of his enterprise and its national character and importance had never been understood, and a wish that I would undertake to give an account of it.
It was like a long debauch, from which I emerged with regret that it should ever end.
She felt herself a most fortunate woman; and she had lived long enough to know how fortunate she might well be thought, where the only regret was for a partial separation from friends whose friendship for her had never cooled, and who could ill bear to part with her.
And it required still more character never to regret the sudden step.