Etymology
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rueful (adj.)

c. 1200, reuful, rewfulle, reowfule, "expressing suffering or sorrow; sad, dreadful" (of news, etc.), also in a now obsolete sense of "merciful, compassionate," from rue (n.2) + -ful. Related: Ruefulness (c. 1200 as "compassion, mercy;" 1580s as "dejection").

updated on October 18, 2021

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