Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Language: Old French
Origin: regreter

regret

1 verb
     
re‧gret1 past tense and past participle regretted, present participle regretting [transitive]
1 to feel sorry about something you have done and wish you had not done it:
I've never regretted the decision.
Don't do anything you might regret.
regret doing something
I now regret leaving school so young.
regret (that)
He was beginning to regret that he'd come along.
bitterly/deeply/greatly regret
It was a stupid thing to do and I bitterly regret it.
If we don't act now, we'll live to regret it (=we'll regret it in the future).
2 [not in progressive] formal used in official letters or statements when saying that you are sorry or sad about something:
We regret any inconvenience caused to our customers.
regret (that)
I regret that I will be unable to attend.
regret to say/inform/tell
I regret to inform you that your contract will not be renewed.
WORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE:

regret, be sorry
Regret is very formal when it is used to apologize I deeply regret causing you offence. It is more usual to say you are sorry I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. If you regret doing something, you wish you had not done it Do you regret resigning from your job? I asked him to join us, then regretted it. You can say you are sorry about something that you wish you had not done, or something that is not your fault I was sorry that she decided not to come back. You can say that you are sorry to say something or regret to say something before giving bad news I am sorry to tell you that you failed the test. We regret to inform you that no trains will run today.

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