I found in a dictionary one of the meanings of the word 'regret'.It
said that regret rather relates to unwise acts than to wrong doings and

My questions are:
1- If we use regret to mourn our unwise acts then what word do we use
to mourn sinful activities and wrong doings?

2- Can't we use 'regret'at all when we mourn wrong doings and sins?

Regret also mean 'miss'

Can I say "I regret my mother"?[If my mother has not been living with
me for sometime or is dead]

1 2
"I found in a dictionary one of the meanings of the word 'regret'.It
said that regret rather relates to unwise acts than to wrong doings and
sins. "

I don't think this distinction is important at all. Perhaps you could explain to me what the difference is between an "unwise" and a "sinful" act? Can you post the exact definition that you found?
I found it in hyperdictionary.com and here is the original:

Regret does not carry with it the energy of remorse, the sting of compunction, the sacredness
of contrition, or the practical character of repentance. We even apply the term regret to circumstance over which we have had no control, as the absence of friends or their loss. When connected with ourselves, it relates rather to unwise acts than to wrong or sinful ones.

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I think I understand.

One can regret having broke up with girlfriend for a silly reason. This may carry with it a feeling of nostalgia. One can also regret having murdered someone. These senses both have to do with remorse. There isn't a different term that is used based on the severity of the act.

"Regret" can also be non-volitional. One can regret the fact that something bad occured or that a negative situation existed. "Regrettable" is more likely to be used here.

The fact that there was no tsunami warning system in the bay of Bengal is regrettable.

If you say "I regret my mother" I don't know what is regrettable about this. Do you mean that you regret the fact that she existed, or that she is no longer with you? "Regret" is not that same as "miss."
Thank you for saying that 'regret' is not the same as 'miss'. I, too, had a feeling that it was not. But this sentence below made me confused. This is an extract from Joseph Cornard"s story "the mirror of the sea".

"when shall I cease to regret you"

This sentence made me wonder if was possible to regret a person. And if it was what would it mean?
I would need to see some more context to understand what Conrad meant.

I assume he meant something like "When will I cease to feel bad about 'us'."
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Hello Babu

Curiously, the phrase is also used in Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen:
"Dear, dear Norland!" said Marianne, as she wandered alone before the house, on the last evening of their being there; "when shall I cease to regret you!--when learn to feel a home elsewhere!

Here, it means 'when shall I cease to have these strong feelings of regret about leaving you!'

I don't know Conrad's story; but it's interesting that he uses the same phrase.

Thanks MrP,

S o does that mean that my example " I regret my mother" may fit into a context? can you plz think of a situation in which one can use this phrase?

If it is possible to regret a person then why can't we make sentences like he regrets his teacher , doctor, friend or relatives and find situations to fit them in?

I wonder if one can be allowed to have the liberty to use "regret" this way.


Actually OED gives a sense synonymous to 'miss' as the first definition of the verb 'regret'. It says 'regret' is 'feel sorrow for the loss of a person or a thing'. But caution! There is some semantic difference between 'regret someone' and 'miss someone'. 'Miss someone' is 'feel sorrow for the loss or absence of a person'. If I say "I regret my mother", it implicitly means "my mother is dead" or "I cannot see my mother forever" However, "I miss my mother" doesn't necessarily mean "My mother is dead" or "I cannot see my mother forever"

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