Main definitions of rue in English

: rue1rue2

rue1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Bitterly regret (something one has done or allowed to happen) and wish it undone.

    ‘Ferguson will rue the day he turned down that offer’
    ‘she might live to rue this impetuous decision’
    • ‘Drivers who did not heed the advice were to rue their decision later.’
    • ‘Graduate students who want to pursue particular issues will rue the lack of footnotes.’
    • ‘The modern Republican Party will rue the day they pushed us to our limit.’
    • ‘Mackenzie himself went further than expected in the championship, but will still be rueing his semi-final defeat.’
    • ‘I rue the fact that I never seized on this domain name for my site.’
    • ‘They squandered the opportunity and will surely rue that decision.’
    • ‘States that worked hard to attract high-tech jobs are also ruing the decision, and discovering that a more diversified economy is more prosperous during the bust.’
    • ‘Some of you may be ruing the rise of the religious right.’
    • ‘They battled hard throughout but were left to rue their many missed chances.’
    • ‘She expressed admiration for his work, but rued her inability to understand his mathematics.’
    • ‘I wonder if in years to come I will look back and rue an opportunity missed?’
    • ‘Residents who planted trees on this road are now ruing the decision that they once thought would help the community.’
    • ‘The show's producers must be ruing the day they decided to let contestants play until they lose.’
    • ‘They probably are rueing some missed chances but no doubt they will learn from the experience and we are very proud of their achievements this year.’
    • ‘A double economic blow that could cost South Lakeland more than 60 jobs has left two local businessmen rueing the day they sold their successful firms to out-of-town companies.’
    • ‘They were four goals down at the last change and were left ruing their slow start.’
    • ‘They ventured into sports much later in their life, having spent most of their formative years ruing their misfortune.’
    • ‘Anglers might be rueing the lack of permanent pegging.’
    • ‘Right now, kindly liberals are rueing his jackbooted foray into immigration.’
    • ‘She seems to be rueing that choice, but we'll see how that turns out.’
    • ‘Labour could be left ruing that decision this weekend.’
    regret, be sorry about, feel apologetic about, feel remorseful about, feel remorse for, repent of
    View synonyms

noun

mass nounarchaic
  • 1Repentance; regret.

    ‘with rue my heart is laden’
    1. 1.1 Compassion; pity.
      ‘tears of pitying rue’
      • ‘Yet audiences flocked to see Gordin's terse presentation of sorrow and rue.’
      • ‘This is music of longing, menace, and rue, often spiced with mordant or grisly humor.’
      • ‘Burginde came around the end of the waggon, and with a look of mingled pity and rue, helped me guide her charge back to our waggon.’
      • ‘Filmmakers from these countries reflect on those old ties with a combination of curiosity, rue and rage.’

Origin

Old English hrēow ‘repentance’, hrēowan ‘affect with contrition’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch rouw ‘mourning’ and German Reue ‘remorse’.

Pronunciation

rue

/ruː/

Main definitions of rue in English

: rue1rue2

rue2

noun

  • 1A perennial evergreen shrub with bitter strong-scented lobed leaves which are used in herbal medicine.

    • ‘Several statements about rue in the current herbal literature need clarification.’
    • ‘In ancient Greece and Egypt, rue was employed to stimulate menstrual bleeding, induce abortions, and strengthen eyesight.’
    • ‘Although rue is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens or flowerbeds, its strong smell usually makes rue unpopular for use close to homes.’
    • ‘The national plant is rue, and the national bird is the stork.’
    • ‘Many herbs can help to deter flies, such as lavender, sweet woodruff, lemon verbena, star anise, tansy, any of the mints, rosemary, bay, chamomile, rue, elder, southernwood and basil.’
    • ‘Not all herbs smell good - catmint, curry plant, pyrethrum, rue, santolina and tansy are all pretty pongy, ranging from slightly musty to downright disgusting.’
    • ‘The medical use of rue is very wide.’
    • ‘Less invasive is common rue, a medicinal plant with blueish leaves and yellow flowers.’
    1. 1.1 Used in names of other plants that resemble rue, especially in leaf shape, e.g. goat's rue, meadow rue, and wall rue.
      • ‘This combination of management and heavy, poorly-drained soils favoured characteristic plants such as great burnet, devil's bit scabious, meadow rue and pepper saxifrage.’
      • ‘In addition to its lactogenic properties, goat's rue comes from the same family as fenugreek and is also considered to have anti-diabetic properties.’
      • ‘Goat's Rue used to be found in every cottage garden because it was used for feeding livestock.’
      • ‘Wall-rue is rare in Connecticut; it is listed as a threatened species.’
      • ‘The dainty blooms of this early flowering meadow rue provide an excellent contrast with larger flowered plants.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French, via Latin from Greek rhutē.

Pronunciation

rue

/ruː/