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[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.
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 regressing
  • At first it seemed to improve but now she is regressing back to old ways.
  • Unfortunately for some of the politicians running this country they have long ago reached their limits and are now regressing.
  • The fact that in several key areas-fusion energy, supersonic transport, space colonization-applied science is regressing.
  • In some respects, the countries of the region are regressing.
  • One should be able to estimate climate sensitivity by regressing observations.
  • Urgent and consolidated efforts are needed to avoid regressing to the pre-antibiotic era.
British Dictionary definitions for regressing


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 regressing



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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