Definition of rueful in English:

rueful

Line breaks: rue¦ful
Pronunciation: /ˈruːfʊl
 
, -f(ə)l/

adjective

Derivatives

ruefully

adverb
More example sentences
  • Although the album did extremely well, Scott admits ruefully that everyone else who recorded on the album made money except him.
  • I shake my head ruefully at your letter, however well intentioned.
  • But Louise ruefully confessed she rarely tunes in to watch television these days.

ruefulness

noun
More example sentences
  • There is a quality of self-directed ruefulness or self-causation.
  • I told her about my coffee date with my neighbour last week, and we analysed with our usual ruefulness the mixture of mellowness and awkwardness that arose.
  • Folk and country, romance and ruefulness, innocence and experience are all conjoined in their bewitching vocal harmonies.

Origin

Middle English (also in the sense 'pitiable'): from the noun rue1 + -ful.

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