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rueful Line breaks: rue¦ful
Pronunciation: /ˈruːfʊl/

Definition of rueful in English:


Expressing sorrow or regret, especially in a wry or humorous way: she gave a rueful grin
More example sentences
  • Now they have nothing but rueful regrets accompanied by doubts about how much longer this partly ageing side can remain together.
  • Kay nodded to Ryan with a rueful grin upon his lips as he slipped out of his seat and moved towards the ladies.
  • She gave her a rueful grin and hurried out the front door, nearly slamming into Kyle.


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.


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

Words that rhyme with rueful

woeful • joyful • useful
Definition of rueful in:
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