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 (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.
- 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in 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.
- (more generally) To feel sorry about (any thing).
- I regret that I have to do this, but I don't have a choice.
- "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.
- What man does not remember with regret the first time he read Robinson Crusoe?
- 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.
- (obsolete) Dislike; aversion.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Dr. H. More to this entry?)
- regret in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- regret in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
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 le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).