Etymology
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ruefully (adv.)

c. 1200, reufulliche, reufulike; from c. 1300 as rufully, reufulli; see rueful + -ly (2). The oldest sense, now obsolete, is "pitiably, lamentably." The meaning "mournfully, dolefully, in a sorrowful manner" is from c. 1300.

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Definitions of ruefully

ruefully (adv.)
in a rueful manner;
`I made a big mistake,' he said ruefully
Synonyms: contritely / remorsefully
From wordnet.princeton.edu