When you experience regression, you "go back" in some way. If you've been trying to break your sugar habit but one day eat several pieces of cake, that's regression.

Remember that the suffix -ion is added to a verb to make it into a noun, making regression the noun form of the verb "to regress." We can find regression, meaning "the act of going back," as far back as the late 1300s, from the Latin regressus, which means "a return." When you see all your old friends (and enemies) at a school reunion, you might experience regression and start acting like your younger self.

Definitions of regression
  1. noun
    returning to a former state
    synonyms: regress, retrogression, retroversion, reversion
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    type of:
    a change from one state to the opposite state
  2. noun
    (psychiatry) a defense mechanism in which you flee from reality by assuming a more infantile state
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    type of:
    defence, defence mechanism, defence reaction, defense, defense mechanism, defense reaction
    (psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires
  3. noun
    an abnormal state in which development has stopped prematurely
    synonyms: arrested development, fixation, infantile fixation
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    type of:
    abnormalcy, abnormality
    an abnormal physical condition resulting from defective genes or developmental deficiencies
  4. noun
    the relation between selected values of x and observed values of y (from which the most probable value of y can be predicted for any value of x)
    synonyms: regression toward the mean, simple regression, statistical regression
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    linear regression, rectilinear regression
    the relation between variables when the regression equation is linear: e.g., y = ax + b
    curvilinear regression
    the relation between variables when the regression equation is nonlinear (quadratic or higher order)
    type of:
    statistical method, statistical procedure
    a method of analyzing or representing statistical data; a procedure for calculating a statistic
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘regression'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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