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[roo] /ru/
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.
Origin of rue1
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
Related forms
ruer, noun
unrued, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rued
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Lucy, younger than Barbara by a year, had been known to defy her; but she rued her rashness in tears for many days afterwards.

    Barbara Lynn Emily J. Jenkinson
  • I am sure she rued the day that ever she listened to a fortune teller.

  • And her voice sounded strange and unkent to her in that solitude, and she rued it that she had spoken.

  • Bolli rued at once his deed, and declared the manslaughter due to his hand.

    Laxdla Saga Anonymous
  • Then he sat down again; which his ancestors had always refused to do, and had rued it.

    Mary Anerley R. D. Blackmore
  • These he gave to Kriemhild, and sore both of them rued it in after-time.

  • When the Burgundians were come to the land, old Hildebrand of Berne did hear the tale, and sore it rued him.

  • I am sure she rued the day that ever she listened to a fortune-teller.

    Stories for the Young Hannah More
British Dictionary definitions for rued


verb rues, ruing, rued
to feel sorrow, remorse, or regret for (one's own wrongdoing, past events with unpleasant consequences, etc)
(archaic) sorrow, pity, or regret
Derived Forms
ruer, noun
Word Origin
Old English hrēowan; related to Old Saxon hreuwan, Old High German hriuwan


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 Archaic name herb of grace Compare goat's-rue, meadow rue, wall rue
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin rūta, from Greek rhutē
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 rued



"feel regret," Old English hreowan "make sorry, distress, grieve" (class II strong verb; past tense hreaw, past participle hrowen), from Proto-Germanic *khrewanan (cf. Old Frisian riowa, Middle Dutch rouwen, Old Dutch hrewan, German reuen "to sadden, cause repentance"); in part, blended with Old English weak verb hreowian "feel pain or sorrow," and perhaps influenced by Old Norse hryggja "make sad," both from Proto-Germanic *khruwjanan, all from PIE root *kreue- (2) "to push, strike" (see anacrusis). Related: Rued; ruing.


perennial evergreen shrub, late 14c., from Old French rue (13c.), earlier rude, from Latin ruta "rue," probably from Greek rhyte, of uncertain etymology, originally a Peloponnesian word. The bitter taste of its leaves led to many punning allusions to rue (n.2.).

"sorrow, repentance," Old English hreow "grief, repentance, sorrow, regret, penitence," common Germanic (cf. Frisian rou, Middle Dutch rou, Dutch rouw, Old High German (h)riuwa, German reue), related to the root of rue (v.).

French for "street," from Vulgar Latin *ruga (cf. Old Italian ruga), properly "a furrow," then in Medieval Latin "a path, street" (see rough (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for rued


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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rued in the Bible

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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