Regretful describes the feeling of being sorry for something you did — or didn't do — or something that happened. If you are regretful about how you treated your brother when you were little, you now wish you had been nicer.

Regret is a feeling of sorrow — wishing you could do something differently or undo an action. So, when you are regretful, you might feel frustrated, disappointed with yourself, embarrassed, or even sad. In fact, regretful comes from the Proto-Germanic word for weep, gretan. It can be hard to do, but the point is to learn from regretful experiences so you don't repeat them.

Definitions of regretful
  1. adjective
    feeling or expressing regret or sorrow or a sense of loss over something done or undone
    “felt regretful over his vanished youth”
    regretful over mistakes she had made”
    synonyms: bad, sorry
    penitent, repentant
    feeling or expressing remorse for misdeeds
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    unregretful, unregretting
    feeling no regret
Commonly confused words

regrettably / regretfully

Regrettably is used when something’s a bummer, but it’s not necessarily your fault. Regretfully is when you’re full of regret, like if you decided to stay home and your friends saw your crush at the dance.

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