Definition of ruefully in English:


Pronunciation /ˈruːf(ə)li//ˈruːfʊli/


  • In a way that expresses sorrow or regret, especially in a wry or humorous manner.

    ‘the actor ruefully remarked that you are only as good as your last film’
    • ‘He ruefully admitted that the great league in the country where the sport was born may no longer be "the gold standard" of hoops.’
    • ‘In a recent song, he ruefully concedes that his fans prefer the Shady persona.’
    • ‘Last year, a rep of the phone company ruefully admitted it was stretching the truth.’
    • ‘Obligation, she ruefully reflected, was a flimsy basis for creativity.’
    • ‘Those who have crossed him describe the experience ruefully.’
    • ‘Of course, he adds ruefully, it took him another eight months to get his head back together.’
    • ‘Those stairs must have been a little more challenging than I thought, he ruefully admitted to himself.’
    • ‘Common sense rarely rules markets—as money managers ruefully admit.’
    • ‘Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan, the president ruefully noted after the Cuban fiasco.’
    • ‘In his most famous stage work, he took a ruefully affectionate voyage around his father.’