(third-person singular simple present regrets, present participle regretting, simple past and past participle regretted)
- To feel sorry about (a thing that has or has not happened), afterthink: to wish that a thing had not happened, that something else had happened instead.
- He regretted his words.
- (more generally) To feel sorry about (any thing).
- I regret that I have to do this, but I don't have a choice.
This is a catenative verb that takes the gerund (the -ing form), except in set phrases with tell, say, and inform, where the to infinitive is used.
(countable and uncountable, plural regrets)
- Emotional pain on account of something done or experienced in the past, with a wish that it had been different; a looking back with dissatisfaction or with longing.
From Middle English regretten, from Old French regreter, regrater (“to lament"), from re- (intensive prefix) + *greter, *grater (“to weep"), from Old Frankish *grÄ“tan ("to weep, mourn, lament"; from Proto-Germanic *grÄ“tanÄ… (“to weep")), and Old Frankish *grÄ“otan (“to cry, weep"), from Proto-Germanic *greutanÄ… (“to weep, cry"), from Proto-Indo-European *ghrew- (“to weep, be sad"), equivalent to re- +"Ž greet. Cognate with Middle High German grÄzan (“to cry"), Old English grÇ£tan (“to weep, greet"), Old English grÄ“otan (“to weep, lament"), Old Norse grÃ¡ta (“to weep, groan"), Gothic ðŒ²ð‚ðŒ´ð„ðŒ°ðŒ½ (gretan, “to weep"). More at greet.