Top 32 Slang For Remorse – Meaning & Usage

Feeling regretful or apologetic? We’ve got you covered with a list of the top slang terms for remorse. Whether you’re looking to express your feelings in a more casual way or just curious about the latest language trends, this compilation will have you covered. Dive in and discover how to articulate those feelings of regret like a pro!

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1. Regret

Regret is a common term used to express a sense of remorse or disappointment about a past action or decision.

  • For example, someone might say, “I regret not studying harder for the exam.”
  • In a discussion about missed opportunities, someone might share, “I regret not taking that job offer when it was presented to me.”
  • A person reflecting on past relationships might say, “I regret not being more open and honest with my partner.”

2. Guilt

Guilt is often used to describe the emotional state of feeling responsible or remorseful for a perceived offense or wrongdoing.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I feel guilty for not spending enough time with my family.”
  • In a discussion about ethical dilemmas, someone might share, “I felt a lot of guilt after making that decision.”
  • A person reflecting on their actions might say, “I carry a lot of guilt for the mistakes I made in the past.”

3. Shame

Shame is a term used to describe the emotional distress or humiliation one feels as a result of a perceived failure or wrongdoing.

  • For example, someone might say, “I felt a deep sense of shame after being caught lying.”
  • In a discussion about societal expectations, someone might share, “Shame can often be a barrier to seeking help or support.”
  • A person reflecting on their past might say, “I carry a lot of shame for the way I treated others.”

4. Sorrow

Sorrow refers to a deep distress or sadness caused by loss or disappointment.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I feel immense sorrow for the loss of a loved one.”
  • In a discussion about grief, someone might share, “Sorrow can be a difficult emotion to navigate.”
  • A person reflecting on a past event might say, “I still carry a lot of sorrow from that experience.”

5. Contrition

Contrition is a term used to describe the feeling of remorse or penitence one experiences for a wrongdoing.

  • For example, someone might say, “I felt a deep sense of contrition after realizing the impact of my actions.”
  • In a discussion about forgiveness, someone might share, “Contrition is an important step in seeking redemption.”
  • A person reflecting on their past behavior might say, “I have a lot of contrition for the pain I caused others.”

6. Repentance

Repentance refers to the feeling of remorse or regret for past actions or sins. It involves acknowledging one’s wrongdoing and seeking forgiveness or making amends.

  • For example, a person might say, “I feel deep repentance for the pain I caused my family.”
  • In a religious context, repentance involves confessing one’s sins and seeking redemption.
  • Someone might express repentance by saying, “I am truly sorry for my actions and will do everything I can to make it right.”

7. Penitence

Penitence is a state of feeling remorseful or guilty for one’s actions or behavior. It involves recognizing the wrongfulness of one’s actions and a desire to make amends.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I am filled with penitence for the harm I caused.”
  • In a religious context, penitence is often associated with seeking forgiveness from a higher power.
  • Someone expressing penitence might say, “I deeply regret my choices and will do whatever it takes to make things right.”

8. Rue

To rue something is to feel regret or sorrow for it. It involves wishing that a past action or decision had been different or had not occurred at all.

  • For example, a person might say, “I rue the day I made that decision.”
  • Someone expressing rue might say, “I deeply regret my choices and the consequences they have caused.”
  • A person might express rue by saying, “If only I had known then what I know now, I would have acted differently.”

9. Self-reproach

Self-reproach refers to the act of blaming oneself for a mistake or wrongdoing. It involves feeling guilty or remorseful for one’s actions and holding oneself accountable.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I am filled with self-reproach for my thoughtless words.”
  • Someone experiencing self-reproach might say, “I can’t help but blame myself for the outcome.”
  • A person might express self-reproach by saying, “I deeply regret my actions and the pain they have caused.”

10. Compunction

Compunction refers to a feeling of guilt or remorse for one’s actions. It involves a sense of regret or unease about the consequences of one’s behavior.

  • For example, a person might say, “I have no compunction about apologizing for my mistake.”
  • Someone experiencing compunction might say, “I can’t shake off the feeling of guilt.”
  • A person might express compunction by saying, “I deeply regret my choices and the harm they have caused.”

11. Lament

To express deep sorrow or regret over something. It often implies a sense of mourning or grieving over a loss or missed opportunity.

  • For example, “He lamented his decision to drop out of college.”
  • In a song or poem, one might write, “She sang a lament for the love she lost.”
  • A person might say, “I lament not spending more time with my family when I had the chance.”

12. Apology

A formal or informal statement expressing regret or remorse for a mistake, offense, or wrongdoing. It is a way to acknowledge responsibility and seek forgiveness.

  • For instance, “He offered a sincere apology for his rude behavior.”
  • In a public statement, a politician might say, “I apologize for any harm my words may have caused.”
  • A person might write, “I want to apologize for my absence at the meeting. It was unavoidable.”

13. Atone

To make amends for a mistake or wrongdoing, often through actions or gestures that demonstrate remorse and a desire to be forgiven.

  • For example, “He sought to atone for his past mistakes by volunteering at a homeless shelter.”
  • In a religious context, one might seek to atone for their sins through prayer or acts of charity.
  • A person might say, “I’m trying to atone for my actions by being a better friend.”

14. Penance

An act of self-punishment or repentance as a way to demonstrate remorse or seek forgiveness for a wrongdoing. It often involves voluntary acts of sacrifice or suffering.

  • For instance, “He performed penance by fasting for a week.”
  • In some religious traditions, a person might be assigned a specific penance by a priest as part of the sacrament of confession.
  • A person might say, “I’m doing penance for my mistakes by donating a portion of my income to charity.”

15. Regretful

Feeling or expressing remorse or sorrow over a past action or decision. It implies a sense of disappointment or sadness about the consequences of one’s choices.

  • For example, “She looked regretful as she realized the impact of her words.”
  • In a conversation, one might say, “I’m regretful that I didn’t take the opportunity when it was presented.”
  • A person might write, “I feel regretful for not prioritizing my health sooner.”

16. Sorry

This is a common expression of regret or remorse for a mistake or wrongdoing. “Sorry” is often used to acknowledge responsibility and express a desire for forgiveness.

  • For instance, if you accidentally bump into someone, you might say, “Sorry!”
  • If you forget to do something you promised, you might apologize by saying, “I’m sorry I forgot.”
  • When someone shares their feelings with you, you might respond with, “I’m sorry you’re going through that.”

17. Apologetic

This term describes someone who feels or expresses regret or remorse for their actions. Being “apologetic” means acknowledging one’s mistake or wrongdoing and showing a willingness to make amends.

  • For example, if you accidentally break something, you might say, “I’m apologetic for my carelessness.”
  • If you realize you’ve hurt someone’s feelings, you might say, “I’m genuinely apologetic for what I said.”
  • When someone accepts your apology, they might respond with, “I appreciate your apologetic attitude.”

18. Rueful

To be “rueful” means to feel or express regret or remorse, often accompanied by a sense of sadness or sorrow. It implies a deep understanding of the consequences of one’s actions.

  • For instance, if you miss an important opportunity, you might look back with a rueful expression and say, “I should have taken that chance.”
  • If you realize the impact of your choices on others, you might say, “I’m rueful for the pain I caused.”
  • When someone sympathizes with your regret, they might say, “I can see the rueful look in your eyes.”

19. Penitent

To be “penitent” means to feel or express sincere regret or remorse for one’s actions. It suggests a desire for atonement and a willingness to make things right.

  • For example, if you realize the harm you’ve caused, you might say, “I’m penitent for my mistakes.”
  • If you seek forgiveness, you might express your penitence by saying, “I deeply regret my actions and want to make amends.”
  • When someone acknowledges your remorse, they might say, “I can see that you’re truly penitent.”

20. Contrite

To be “contrite” means to feel or show remorse for one’s actions, often accompanied by a sense of guilt or shame. It implies a sincere desire to make up for one’s mistakes.

  • For instance, if you hurt someone you care about, you might say, “I’m truly contrite for my behavior.”
  • If you recognize the impact of your actions on others, you might say, “I’m contrite and I want to make things right.”
  • When someone acknowledges your remorse, they might say, “I can tell you’re genuinely contrite.”

21. Remorseful

Feeling or expressing deep regret or guilt for one’s actions or behavior. “Remorseful” is often used to describe someone who feels sorry for what they have done.

  • For example, a person might say, “I am remorseful for hurting your feelings.”
  • In a conversation about past mistakes, someone might admit, “I am remorseful for the way I treated my ex.”
  • A character in a book might be described as “remorseful” after realizing the consequences of their actions.
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22. Repentant

Feeling or showing sincere regret or remorse for one’s wrongdoing. “Repentant” implies a strong desire to make amends or change one’s behavior.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I am truly repentant for the pain I caused you.”
  • In a religious context, someone might seek forgiveness by saying, “I am repentant and ask for God’s mercy.”
  • A character in a movie might be depicted as “repentant” after realizing the harm they have caused.

23. Ashamed

Feeling guilty, embarrassed, or humiliated because of one’s actions, characteristics, or associations. “Ashamed” often implies a sense of self-consciousness or a desire to hide one’s actions.

  • For example, a person might say, “I am ashamed of how I treated my friend.”
  • In a discussion about personal failures, someone might admit, “I am ashamed of my past mistakes.”
  • A character in a play might feel “ashamed” after being caught in a lie.

24. Apologize

Expressing regret or remorse for one’s actions or words. “Apologize” is the act of acknowledging one’s mistake and seeking forgiveness.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I apologize for my behavior last night.”
  • In a professional setting, someone might send an email to apologize, saying, “I apologize for the mistake in the report.”
  • A character in a TV show might apologize to a friend, saying, “I’m sorry for not being there when you needed me.”

25. Feel bad

Experiencing negative emotions or guilt due to one’s actions or behavior. “Feel bad” is a colloquial term often used to express remorse or regret.

  • For example, a person might say, “I feel bad for canceling our plans.”
  • In a conversation about a missed opportunity, someone might say, “I feel bad for not taking that job.”
  • A character in a book might “feel bad” after realizing the consequences of their actions.
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26. Have a guilty conscience

This phrase is used to describe the feeling of remorse or regret for something one has done wrong. It implies that the person is aware of their wrongdoing and feels a sense of guilt.

  • For example, “Every time I see her, I have a guilty conscience for not returning her money.”
  • Someone might say, “I can’t sleep at night because I have a guilty conscience about what I said.”
  • In a confession, a person might admit, “I have a guilty conscience for cheating on the test.”

27. Guilt trip

This term refers to a manipulative tactic used to make someone feel guilty or responsible for something. It involves intentionally making someone feel bad about their actions or choices in order to influence their behavior.

  • For instance, “She always tries to guilt trip me into doing things for her.”
  • A person might say, “I hate it when people try to guilt trip me into feeling sorry for them.”
  • If someone is trying to manipulate another person, they might say, “Don’t let him guilt trip you into doing something you don’t want to do.”

28. Conscience-stricken

This phrase describes a state of being overwhelmed by guilt or remorse. It implies that the person’s conscience is heavily burdened by the weight of their actions or choices.

  • For example, “He was conscience-stricken after realizing the consequences of his actions.”
  • Someone might say, “I can’t live with myself, I feel so conscience-stricken.”
  • In a confession, a person might admit, “I am conscience-stricken for betraying my friend’s trust.”

29. Repent

To repent means to feel remorse or regret for one’s actions and to seek forgiveness or make amends for them. It implies a sincere desire to change and make things right.

  • For instance, “He deeply repented for his past mistakes and vowed to never repeat them.”
  • A person might say, “I’m willing to repent for my actions and make up for the harm I caused.”
  • In a religious context, someone might say, “Repentance is an important part of seeking forgiveness and redemption.”

30. Blame oneself

This phrase refers to the act of holding oneself responsible or accountable for something that went wrong or for a mistake that was made. It implies a sense of self-blame or self-criticism.

  • For example, “She always blames herself for everything that goes wrong.”
  • Someone might say, “I can’t help but blame myself for the accident.”
  • In a moment of reflection, a person might admit, “I have to blame myself for not listening to the warnings.”

31. Have regrets

This phrase is used to describe the feeling of regret or remorse for something that has been done or not done. It implies a sense of sadness or disappointment in oneself.

  • For example, “I have regrets about not pursuing my dream career.”
  • A person might say, “I have regrets about the way I treated my ex-partner.”
  • In a conversation about missed opportunities, someone might share, “I have regrets about not studying abroad in college.”

32. Be sorry for

This phrase is used to express a feeling of remorse or regret for something that has been done or said. It implies a sense of guilt or sorrow for one’s actions.

  • For instance, “I am sorry for my behavior at the party last night.”
  • A person might say, “I am sorry for the way I treated my friend.”
  • In a conversation about past mistakes, someone might admit, “I am sorry for not being there when my friend needed me.”