Top 30 Adjectives for Regret (Negative & Positive Words)

Regret is a universal emotion. To deeply understand and express this feeling, it’s important to have the right words. This post provides you with adjectives to aptly describe regret in varied nuances.

Description of Regret

Regret is an emotional response of sorrow or disappointment over past actions or missed opportunities.

Words to Describe Regret

Here are the 30 most common words to describe Regret:

  1. Painful
  2. Bitter
  3. Haunting
  4. Lingering
  5. Profound
  6. Intense
  7. Sharp
  8. Deep-seated
  9. Pervasive
  10. Unshakable
  11. Fleeting
  12. Slight
  13. Overwhelming
  14. Mild
  15. Constant
  16. Gnawing
  17. Distant
  18. Burning
  19. Nagging
  20. Heavy
  21. Searing
  22. Fading
  23. Consuming
  24. Subtle
  25. Raw
  26. Strong
  27. Deep
  28. Passing
  29. Immediate
  30. Ruminating

Positive Words to Describe Regret

  1. Mild
  2. Passing
  3. Fleeting
  4. Slight
  5. Subtle
  6. Distant
  7. Fading
  8. Immediate
  9. Brief
  10. Momentary

Negative Words to Describe Regret

  1. Painful
  2. Bitter
  3. Haunting
  4. Lingering
  5. Overwhelming
  6. Gnawing
  7. Burning
  8. Nagging
  9. Consuming
  10. Raw

Adjectives for Regret (Meanings and Example Sentences)


  • Meaning: Causing emotional distress.
  • Sentence: His painful regret kept him awake.


  • Meaning: Strong and unpleasant.
  • Sentence: Her bitter regret consumed her thoughts.


  • Meaning: Lasting for a short time.
  • Sentence: His regret was but fleeting.


  • Meaning: Persistently troubling.
  • Sentence: A gnawing regret filled her heart.


  • Meaning: Not severe or intense.
  • Sentence: He felt a mild regret over the matter.


  • Meaning: Very intense or strong.
  • Sentence: The overwhelming regret made him cry.


  • Meaning: Continuously bothersome.
  • Sentence: A nagging sense of regret haunted her.


  • Meaning: Intensely felt.
  • Sentence: She held a burning regret inside.


  • Meaning: Decreasing in strength.
  • Sentence: His regret was slowly fading away.


  • Meaning: Think deeply about something.
  • Sentence: He was ruminating in regret for hours.

How to Describe Regret in Writing?

Describing regret in writing is about capturing the emotional intensity and depth of the sentiment.

By understanding the intensity of the regret — whether it’s a slight pang or a deep-seated sorrow — and pairing it with vivid adjectives, you can convey the essence of the emotion and make it relatable to the reader.

Context, background, and the reason for the regret can also add layers to the narrative, deepening the reader’s connection.


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