1 [roo]
verb (used with object), rued, ruing.
to feel sorrow over; repent of; regret bitterly: to rue the loss of opportunities.
to wish that (something) had never been done, taken place, etc.: I rue the day he was born.
verb (used without object), rued, ruing.
to feel sorrow, repentance, or regret.
sorrow; repentance; regret.
pity or compassion.

before 900; (v.) Middle English ruen, rewen, Old English hrēowan; cognate with Dutch rouwen, German reuen; (noun) Middle English rewe, reowe, Old English hrēow; cognate with Dutch rouw, German Reue; cf. ruth

ruer, noun
unrued, adjective Unabridged


2 [roo]
any strongly scented plant of the genus Ruta, especially R. graveolens, having yellow flowers and leaves formerly used in medicine.
Compare rue family.

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French < Latin rūta < Greek rhȳtḗ


Warren de la, de la Rue, Warren. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rue1 (ruː)
vb , rues, ruing, rued
1.  to feel sorrow, remorse, or regret for (one's own wrongdoing, past events with unpleasant consequences, etc)
2.  archaic sorrow, pity, or regret
[Old English hrēowan; related to Old Saxon hreuwan, Old High German hriuwan]

rue2 (ruː)
goat's-rue meadow rue Compare wall rue Archaic name: herb of grace any rutaceous plant of the genus Ruta, esp R. graveolens, an aromatic Eurasian shrub with small yellow flowers and evergreen leaves which yield an acrid volatile oil, formerly used medicinally as a narcotic and stimulant
[C14: from Old French, from Latin rūta, from Greek rhutē]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"feel regret," O.E. hreowan "make sorry, grieve" (class II strong verb; past tense hreaw, pp. hrowen), from P.Gmc. *khrewanan (cf. O.Fris. riowa, M.Du. rouwen, O.D. hrewan, Ger. rewen); in part, blended with O.E. weak v. hreowian "feel pain or sorrow," and perhaps influenced by O.N. hryggja "make sad,"
both from P.Gmc. *khruwjanan, from the same root. The noun meaning "sorrow, repentance" is from O.E. hreow, from the verb.

"perennial evergreen shrub," late 14c., from O.Fr. rue, earlier rude, from L. ruta "rue," probably from Gk. rhyte, of uncertain etymology, originally a Peloponnesian word. The bitter taste of its leaves led to many punning allusions to the noun form of rue (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
right upper extremity
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Rue definition

a garden herb (Ruta graveolens) which the Pharisees were careful to tithe (Luke 11:42), neglecting weightier matters. It is omitted in the parallel passage of Matt. 23:23. There are several species growing wild in Palestine. It is used for medicinal and culinary purposes. It has a powerful scent, and is a stimulant. (See MINT.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica


any plant of the genus Ruta, of the family Rutaceae, comprising 40 species of perennial shrubs and herbs native to Eurasia and the Canary Islands. Common rue (R. graveolens) is cultivated as a small garden shrub for its evergreen leaves and dull-yellow flower clusters. The gland-studded, translucent leaves have been used for centuries as a spice and in medicines.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Rue the day when rule of law displaces good manners.
Many travelers have lived to rue the day that they booked a trip without first reading the fine print.
Each was asked to describe, in detail, one decision they came to rue.
Images for rue
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