Definition of regretfully in English:

regretfully

adverb

  • 1In a regretful manner.

    ‘he sighed regretfully’
    • ‘Michael had let go of my waist, I noticed, regretfully.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, despite considerable enthusiasm shown towards the initial concept, audience turnout was poor and the plug was regretfully pulled.’
    • ‘I sighed and regretfully pulled out a small black case that held a pair of glasses.’
    • ‘She sighed regretfully and walked to her assigned desk.’
    • ‘Sadly, he has not recovered and they regretfully announced his resignation on Monday.’
    • ‘Because of this, and the proximity of other Roman Catholic churches to Durrington, the decision was regretfully taken to close the church.’
    • ‘Nicholas sighed regretfully; he hadn't meant to lose his temper like that.’
    • ‘He sighed, more exhaustedly than regretfully, I thought.’
    • ‘When we finally decided on an enforcement action, having had to very regretfully reach the conclusion that there was no other way, we did it properly.’
    • ‘Since then, we have regretfully picked up our beach towels and coolers and headed back to the cosmic parking lot.’
    • ‘I was there with her at the party, but then stupidly, and very regretfully, I left.’
    • ‘My answer to all of these questions is, regretfully, no.’
    • ‘‘Compromise was simply not possible,’ he declared, regretfully.’
    • ‘She sighed, and regretfully disentangled herself from Steve, who looked puzzled.’
    • ‘The Fiddler's Green Festival Committee has regretfully announced that the Tommy Fleming concert scheduled for Wednesday July 23 has been cancelled.’
    • ‘But, as he regretfully learned, his adoptees' public high schools were so bad that many of the kids dropped out, squandering an extraordinary opportunity.’
    • ‘The days when you could recognise a person's origins by their rich and diverse regional accents are regretfully slipping away.’
    • ‘A hot-pot is in the oven, which I regretfully turn down because I'd already eaten lunch, however I do accept a cup of tea and a slice of her Christmas cake.’
    • ‘The first of those teams were due to arrive in Sligo yesterday afternoon, but the organisers had to regretfully inform them that the event would not go ahead.’
    • ‘The half hour has passed all too quickly and regretfully we board our boat and return to Freshwater Basin enriched by a unique experience and loaded with photographs to be developed.’
    1. 1.1sentence adverb It is regrettable that.
      ‘regretfully, mounting costs forced the branch to close’
      • ‘Many of the Ballintubber players will know in their hearts that they did not grasp the opportunity on the day and regretfully experience has shown that such occasions as Intermediate Finals are rare enough.’
      • ‘We will try to negotiate with the landowner and if that fails regretfully we may have to apply for a court injunction but this is very much a position of last resort.’
      • ‘We had quite a useful meeting but regretfully at that stage the damage had been done.’
      • ‘But regretfully, we will not be catering to that audience because it's really a niche.’
      • ‘(I hear that no one is turned away except, regretfully, one quite hefty character in a swirling kilt - but that's another story).’
      • ‘But regretfully, it is only a short visit for him as he leaves here on Sunday, to catch the plane to Vancouver where he has another showing.’
      • ‘The point is that it is not possible, regretfully, in the world in which we live, for us to guarantee anyone's safety, civilian or military.’
      • ‘In the end, regretfully, I chose none of them, preferring instead two books I read quite frequently, one for its astonishing use of language and the other for the haunting quietude of its tale.’
      • ‘And, regretfully, it is extremely unlikely that we'll see him emerging from his shower a few months later, complaining about the awful dream he had last night.’

Usage

The adjectives regretful and regrettable are distinct in meaning: regretful means ‘feeling or showing regret’, as in she shook her head with a regretful smile, while regrettable means ‘giving rise to regret; undesirable’, as in the loss of jobs is regrettable. The adverbs regretfully and regrettably have not, however, preserved the same distinction. Regretfully is used as a normal adverb to mean ‘in a regretful manner’ (he sighed regretfully), but it is also used as a sentence adverb meaning ‘it is regrettable that’ (regretfully, mounting costs forced the branch to close). In this latter use it is synonymous with regrettably. This is disliked by traditionalists and should be avoided in formal contexts

Pronunciation

regretfully

/rɪˈɡrɛtfəli/