adjective Date: 13th century 1. exciting pity or sympathy ; pitiable <
rueful squalid poverty…by every wayside — John Morley
2. mournful, regretful <
troubled her with a rueful disquiet — W. M. Thackeray
ruefully adverbruefulness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rueful — Rue ful, a. 1. Causing one to rue or lament; woeful; mournful; sorrowful. [1913 Webster] 2. Expressing sorrow. Rueful faces. Dryden. [1913 Webster] Two rueful figures, with long black cloaks. Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster] {Rue ful*ly}, adv. {Rue… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rueful — index contrite, despondent, lamentable, penitent, remorseful, repentant Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • rueful — early 13c., rewfulle, reowfule, from RUE (Cf. rue) (v.) + FUL (Cf. ful) …   Etymology dictionary

  • rueful — dolorous, doleful, lugubrious, plaintive, *melancholy Analogous words: depressed, weighed down, oppressed (see DEPRESS): piteous, *pitiful: despairing, *despondent, hopeless …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • rueful — [adj] regretful apologetic, ashamed, deplorable, lamentable, mournful, remorseful, repentant, sad, sorrowful, sorry; concept 403 …   New thesaurus

  • rueful — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ expressing regret, especially in a wry or humorous way. DERIVATIVES ruefully adverb ruefulness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • rueful — [ro͞o′fəl] adj. 1. causing sorrow or pity; lamentable 2. a) feeling or showing sorrow or pity; mournful b) feeling or showing regret, esp. in an abashed way ruefully adv. ruefulness n …   English World dictionary

  • rueful — [[t]ru͟ːfʊl[/t]] ADJ GRADED If someone is rueful, they feel or express regret or sorrow in a quiet and gentle way. [LITERARY] He shook his head and gave me a rueful smile... Our marriage was a mistake, she said, looking rueful. Derived words:… …   English dictionary

  • rueful — ruefully, adv. ruefulness, n. /rooh feuhl/, adj. 1. causing sorrow or pity; pitiable; deplorable: a rueful plight. 2. feeling, showing, or expressing sorrow or pity; mournful; doleful: the rueful look on her face. [1175 1225; ME reowful. See RUE1 …   Universalium

  • rueful — adj. Rueful is used with these nouns: ↑grin, ↑laugh, ↑smile …   Collocations dictionary

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