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[ri-mawrs] /rɪˈmɔrs/
deep and painful regret for wrongdoing; compunction.
Obsolete. pity; compassion.
Origin of remorse
1325-75; Middle English < Middle French remors < Medieval Latin remorsus, equivalent to Latin remord(ere) to bite again, vex, nag (re- re- + mordere to bite) + -tus suffix of v. action, with dt > s; see mordant
Related forms
preremorse, noun
1. contrition. See regret. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for remorse
  • Trying to keep everyone talking while trying to keep him alive because of his total lack of remorse or fear, is a full time job.
  • No doubt she felt relief at having been fired, what she seems not to have felt is remorse at having been hired.
  • It has no empathy, refuses to accept responsibility for its actions and feels no remorse.
  • Psychopaths lie without compunction, injure without remorse, and cheat with little fear of detection.
  • My colleague has shown no remorse, and has not changed his views or his ways.
  • He's a sociopath, he doesn't have a heart and there's no way he would ever feel remorse or regret for his crimes.
  • Should the market soar, however, you'll probably feel considerable buyer's remorse.
  • One of the ideas behind a truth commission is that people responsible for past errors show remorse.
  • The determination by the trial court of a defendant's remorse is similar to a determination of credibility.
  • In determining that the defendant's remorse was insincere, the court acknowledged that the defendant had professed remorse.
British Dictionary definitions for remorse


a sense of deep regret and guilt for some misdeed
compunction; pity; compassion
Derived Forms
remorseful, adjective
remorsefully, adverb
remorsefulness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin remorsus a gnawing, from Latin remordēre to bite again, from re- + mordēre to bite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for remorse

late 14c., from Old French remors (Modern French remords), from Medieval Latin remorsum, noun use of neuter past participle of Latin remordere "to vex, disturb," literally "to bite back," from re- "back" (see re-) + mordere "to bite" (see mordant).

The sense evolution was via the Medieval Latin phrase remorsus conscientiæ (translated into Middle English as ayenbite of inwit). Middle English also had a verb, remord "to strike with remorse, touch with compassion, prick one's conscience."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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