Etymology
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regretful (adj.)

1640s, "full of regret," from regret (n.) + -ful. Regretfully (1680s), properly "with regret," often has been incorrectly used in place of regrettably "it is to be regretted that; calling for regret" at least since 1965. "A regrettable use, prob. after HOPEFULLY adv.2" [OED, with a nip of salt]. Or, in a different statement:

regretful means feeling or manifesting regret, not causing it ; the latter sense belongs to regrettable. [Fowler]

updated on June 27, 2021

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