Main definitions of rue in English

: rue1rue2

rue1

Pronunciation /ro͞o/ /ru/

transitive verbrues, rueing, ruing, rued

[with object]
  • Bitterly regret (something one has done or allowed to happen)

    ‘Ferguson will rue the day he turned down that offer’
    ‘she might live to rue this impetuous decision’
    • ‘Labour could be left ruing that decision this weekend.’
    • ‘Residents who planted trees on this road are now ruing the decision that they once thought would help the community.’
    • ‘States that worked hard to attract high-tech jobs are also ruing the decision, and discovering that a more diversified economy is more prosperous during the bust.’
    • ‘Some of you may be ruing the rise of the religious right.’
    • ‘They ventured into sports much later in their life, having spent most of their formative years ruing their misfortune.’
    • ‘The show's producers must be ruing the day they decided to let contestants play until they lose.’
    • ‘They were four goals down at the last change and were left ruing their slow start.’
    • ‘A double economic blow that could cost South Lakeland more than 60 jobs has left two local businessmen rueing the day they sold their successful firms to out-of-town companies.’
    • ‘They probably are rueing some missed chances but no doubt they will learn from the experience and we are very proud of their achievements this year.’
    • ‘She seems to be rueing that choice, but we'll see how that turns out.’
    • ‘Anglers might be rueing the lack of permanent pegging.’
    • ‘Mackenzie himself went further than expected in the championship, but will still be rueing his semi-final defeat.’
    • ‘Right now, kindly liberals are rueing his jackbooted foray into immigration.’
    • ‘They squandered the opportunity and will surely rue that decision.’
    • ‘The modern party will rue the day they pushed us to our limit.’
    • ‘They battled hard throughout but were left to rue their many missed chances.’
    • ‘I rue the fact that I never seized on this domain name for my site.’
    • ‘Drivers who did not heed the advice were to rue their decision later.’
    • ‘I wonder if in years to come I will look back and rue an opportunity missed?’
    • ‘She expressed admiration for his work, but rued her inability to understand his mathematics.’
    • ‘Graduate students who want to pursue particular issues will rue the lack of footnotes.’
    regret, be sorry about, feel apologetic about, feel remorseful about, feel remorse for, repent of
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1archaic Repentance; regret.

    ‘with rue my heart is laden’
    1. 1.1Compassion; pity.
      ‘tears of pitying rue’
      • ‘Burginde came around the end of the waggon, and with a look of mingled pity and rue, helped me guide her charge back to our waggon.’
      • ‘Filmmakers from these countries reflect on those old ties with a combination of curiosity, rue and rage.’
      • ‘Yet audiences flocked to see Gordin's terse presentation of sorrow and rue.’
      • ‘This is music of longing, menace, and rue, often spiced with mordant or grisly humor.’

Origin

Old English hrēow ‘repentance’, hrēowan ‘affect with contrition’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch rouw ‘mourning’ and German Reue ‘remorse’.

Pronunciation

rue

/ro͞o/ /ru/

Main definitions of rue in English

: rue1rue2

rue2

Pronunciation /ro͞o/ /ru/

noun

  • 1A perennial evergreen shrub with bitter strong-scented lobed leaves which are used in herbal medicine.

    Ruta graveolens, family Rutaceae

    • ‘Many herbs can help to deter flies, such as lavender, sweet woodruff, lemon verbena, star anise, tansy, any of the mints, rosemary, bay, chamomile, rue, elder, southernwood and basil.’
    • ‘The medical use of rue is very wide.’
    • ‘In ancient Greece and Egypt, rue was employed to stimulate menstrual bleeding, induce abortions, and strengthen eyesight.’
    • ‘Several statements about rue in the current herbal literature need clarification.’
    • ‘Although rue is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens or flowerbeds, its strong smell usually makes rue unpopular for use close to homes.’
    • ‘Not all herbs smell good - catmint, curry plant, pyrethrum, rue, santolina and tansy are all pretty pongy, ranging from slightly musty to downright disgusting.’
    • ‘The national plant is rue, and the national bird is the stork.’
    • ‘Less invasive is common rue, a medicinal plant with blueish leaves and yellow flowers.’
    1. 1.1Used in names of other plants that resemble rue, especially in leaf shape, e.g., goat's-rue, meadow rue, wall rue.
      • ‘The dainty blooms of this early flowering meadow rue provide an excellent contrast with larger flowered plants.’
      • ‘This combination of management and heavy, poorly-drained soils favoured characteristic plants such as great burnet, devil's bit scabious, meadow rue and pepper saxifrage.’
      • ‘In addition to its lactogenic properties, goat's rue comes from the same family as fenugreek and is also considered to have anti-diabetic properties.’
      • ‘Goat's Rue used to be found in every cottage garden because it was used for feeding livestock.’
      • ‘Wall-rue is rare in Connecticut; it is listed as a threatened species.’

Origin

Middle English from Old French, via Latin from Greek rhutē.

Pronunciation

rue

/ro͞o/ /ru/