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[ri-gret-fuh l] /rɪˈgrɛt fəl/
full of regret; sorrowful because of what is lost, gone, or done.
Origin of regretful
1640-50; regret + -ful
Related forms
regretfully, adverb
regretfulness, noun
unregretful, adjective
unregretfully, adverb
unregretfulness, noun
Can be confused
regretful, regrettable.
regretfully, regrettably. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for regretful
  • They were more regretful, disappointed, and frustrated.
  • Yes, a good agent knows how to coax and cajole a regretful seller.
  • Characteristically, he believes he willed his own recovery, about which he sometimes sounds almost regretful.
  • He offers a kind of regretful apology about his compulsion for privacy.
  • It's a movie the regretful spirit of which is somewhat at odds with its blithe manner.
  • But they also seem complacent about its inefficiencies rather than regretful and determined.
  • The king becomes regretful for his one little act of stealing.
  • It is regretful that cases had to be filed in both state and federal court to deter the dental board from enforcing its gag rule.
  • The unhappy affair has caused no end of regretful comment in theatrical circles.
Word Origin and History for regretful

1640s, "full of regret," from regret + -ful. Regretfully, properly "with regret," incorrectly used in place of regrettably "it is to be regretted that; calling for regret" since at least 1965. "A regrettable use, prob. after HOPEFULLY adv.2" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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