From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishregretre‧gret1 /rɪˈɡret/ ●●○ W3 verb (regretted, regretting) [transitive] 1 REGRET/FEEL SORRYto feel sorry about something you have done and wish you had not done it Don’t do anything you might regret.regret doing something I regret leaving school so young.regret (that) He was beginning to regret that he’d come along.2 [not in progressive] formalREGRET/FEEL SORRY 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.COLLOCATIONSadverbsdeeply/greatlyI deeply regretted what had happened.bitterly (=with a feeling of great sadness)I bitterly regretted my decision to leave.sincerelyThe airline sincerely regrets any delays to passengers.very muchWe very much regret that there will be job losses.instantly/immediately‘No, ’ she blurted out, instantly regretting her response.phraseslive to regret something (=regret it in the future)If you don’t go, you may live to regret it. → See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusregret• That was a name he was already beginning to regret.• We truly regret any inconvenience this mistake caused you.• The airport announced that due to bad weather all flights were cancelled, and they regretted any inconvenience this would cause.• I have always regretted giving up my piano lessons.• A shy smile hinted that he did not entirely regret it.• It was a stupid thing to say, and I immediately regretted it.• I have definitely chosen and I don't regret me choice.• I instantly regret my indiscretion and beg him to keep the news to himself.• I think she regrets now that she never went to college.• Do you ever regret taking this job?• We also read about women who tried to do something and failed and now regret that they even tried.• The owners said they regretted the decision to close the store, but felt unable to do otherwise.• The Public Health ministry said it deeply regretted the error.• The management regrets to inform you that your contract will not be renewed next month.• I regret to say that a number of statements made by the department were incorrect.regret doing something• I regretted not having worn a thicker coat.regret (that)• If the enemy usually benefited from an am-bush, he was more likely to regret a proper slugfest.• We truly regret any inconvenience this mistake caused you.• Too stunned to react or notice whether his face was as casual and without regret as his words, I hiked on.• My only regret is that the college is not able to take more of my hon. Friend's constituents.• A shy smile hinted that he did not entirely regret it.• I instantly regret my indiscretion and beg him to keep the news to himself.• We regret that we are unable to answer multiple queries that do not comply with these instructions.• Dave Devine, the author of the article, regrets this misunderstanding.regretregret2 ●○○ noun 1 [countable usually plural, uncountable] sadness that you feel about something, especially because you wish it had not happenedregret about I have no regrets about leaving.great/deep regret She has already expressed deep regret for what happened.with regret I decided with some regret that it was time to move on. It is with great regret that I must decline your offer.to somebody’s regret I lost touch with her, much to my regret.2 → give/send your regretsCOLLOCATIONSadjectivesgreat/deep regretI accepted his resignation with great regret.bitter regret (=when you feel sad and angry)To the bitter regret of his party, he refused to call an election.somebody’s biggest regretHer biggest regret was not having children.somebody’s only regretMy only regret is that my parents did not live to see this day.verbshave regretsI have absolutely no regrets.express regretThe president expressed his regret at the deaths.phrasesa pang/twinge/stab of regret literary (=a sudden short feeling of regret)Kate watched her go with a pang of regret.
Examples from the Corpusregret• Her biggest regret is that she turned down a job with Gardner's in 1985.• Officers expressed regret about the boy's death.• Did he feel regret, and if so, did he allow anyone to see it?• But he insists regret should never make a footballer compromise on toughness.• Mchboob looked disappointed; his whole face relaxed into regret.• Warnod had to decline, to his later regret.• My main regret is that I never finished my college degree.• She looked at him a moment as if there were some kind of regret or shame fighting it out inside of her.• Jason detected a note of regret in her voice.• "I was too young to know what I was doing, " said Martha with a deep sigh of regret.• My one regret is that I never visited the Taj Mahal when I was in India.• His only regret was that he could not drive, because of his epilepsy.• A life for a telegram from the War Department stating regret.• There was regret in his voice.• I knew that if I didn't make a clean break with Victor I should be filled with regrets for the rest of my life.have ... regrets• I finally moved in just before Christmas 1988 and, like Edith Piaf, I have no regrets.• I have no regrets about the divorce - except that it didn't happen sooner.• I have no regrets, none whatsoever.• But their parents have no regrets.• I know you don't have regrets because that's not your style.• But no one who has participated in one of these adventures in creativity and community seems to have any real regrets.• Because we don't want you to have any regrets.• Do you have any regrets about a relationship that recently ended?Origin regret1 (1400-1500) Old French regreter