Word Origin & History
"to remember with distress or longing," c.1300, from O.Fr. regreter "long after, bewail, lament someone's death," from re-, intensive prefix + -greter, possibly from Frankish (cf. O.E. grætan "to weep;" O.N. grata "to weep, groan"), from P.Gmc. *gretan "weep." Replaced O.E. ofþyncan, from
of- "off, away," here denoting opposition + þyncan "seem, seem fit" (as in methinks). The noun is first recorded 1533. Regretfully incorrectly in place of regrettably is attested from 1976.