Why was clemency trending last week?


[v. ri-gres; n. ree-gres] /v. rɪˈgrɛs; n. ˈri grɛs/
verb (used without object)
to move backward; go back.
to revert to an earlier or less advanced state or form.
the act of going back; return.
the right to go back.
backward movement or course; retrogression.
Origin of regress
1325-75; Middle English regresse (noun) < Latin regressus a returning, going back, equivalent to re- re- + -gred-, combining form of gradī to step, walk, go + -tus suffix of v. action, with dt > ss
Related forms
regressor, noun
1. revert, retreat, backslide, lapse, ebb. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for regress
  • Its vision of modernity reflects not progress but regress.
  • For some of these students, they regress to behaviors that worked for them when they wanted something from their parents.
  • What these amateur statisticians have in fact done, is regress two positive trends on each other.
  • Here it is on the cusp of disappearing into an infinite regress.
  • Untrained, these breeds may regress into an aggressive stance.
  • Patience, perseverance and above all the courage to progress not regress and unravel.
  • Experimental treatments are emerging that seem to cause even the deadliest form of skin cancer to regress.
  • It never ceases to amaze me how people can regress so completely into abject denial.
  • Here is an infinite regress of detail that astonishes us with its variety, its complexity and its strange beauty.
  • It's that damned old homunculus problem and an infinite regress.
British Dictionary definitions for regress


verb (rɪˈɡrɛs)
(intransitive) to return or revert, as to a former place, condition, or mode of behaviour
(transitive) (statistics) to measure the extent to which (a dependent variable) is associated with one or more independent variables
noun (ˈriːɡrɛs)
the act of regressing
movement in a backward direction; retrogression
(logic) a supposed explanation each stage of which requires to be similarly explained, as saying that knowledge requires a justification in terms of propositions themselves known to be true
Derived Forms
regressor, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin regressus a retreat, from regredī to go back, from re- + gradī to go
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for regress

late 14c., "act of going back," from Latin regressus "a return, retreat, a going back," noun use of past participle of regredi "to go back," from re- "back" (see re-) + gradi "to step, walk" (see grade (n.)).


1550s, "to return to a former state," from Latin regressus (see regress (n.)). Meaning "to move backward" is from 1823. The psychological sense of "to return to an earlier stage of life" is attested from 1926. Related: Regressed; regressing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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