Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To go back; move backward.
  • intransitive v. To return to a previous, usually worse or less developed state.
  • intransitive v. To have a tendency to approach or go back to a statistical mean.
  • transitive v. Psychology To induce a state of regression in.
  • n. The act of going or coming back; return.
  • n. Passage back; reentry.
  • n. The act of reasoning backward from an effect to a cause.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of passing back; passage back; return; retrogression.
  • n. The power or liberty of passing back.
  • v. To move backwards to an earlier stage; to devolve.
  • v. To perform a regression on an explanatory variable.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of passing back; passage back; return; retrogression. “The progress or regress of man”.
  • n. The power or liberty of passing back.
  • intransitive v. To go back; to return to a former place or state.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To go back; return to a former place or state.
  • In astronomy, to move from east toward west.
  • n. Passage back; return.
  • n. The power or liberty of returning or passing back.
  • n. In Scots law, reëntry.
  • n. In canon law. See access, 7.
  • n. In logic, the passage in thought from effect to cause.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the reasoning involved when you assume the conclusion is true and reason backward to the evidence
  • v. go back to a statistical means
  • v. go back to bad behavior
  • n. returning to a former state
  • v. get worse or fall back to a previous condition
  • v. go back to a previous state

Etymologies

Latin regredī, regress- : re-, re- + gradī, to go; see ghredh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
(verb) From Latin regressus, past participle of regredi ("to go back"), from re- ("back") + gradi ("to go"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The problem with an infinite regress is that it is a fallacious attempt to make an unsound argument support itself.

    A Fine-Tuned Multiverse

  • An infinite regress is no longer an easy, simple, or adequate explanation.

    Are Changes Brewing and How Does the Mind Fit In?

  • Infinite regress is just another metaphysical conclusion, no different that gods/God.

    Creationism, defined

  • To monumentalize this observation into a method of reading would be to regress from the rigor exhibited by Shelley which is exemplary because it refuses to be generalized into a system.

    Thinking Singularity with Immanuel Kant and Paul de Man: Aesthetics, Epistemology, History and Politics

  • May the lake once again regress to its most pleasant state and leave us the hell alone.

    Lake Lamentation

  • Sir John walked there some time, expecting the reappearance of the knight, whom he intended to assist in leading home; but after an hour, finding no signs of regress from the palace, and thinking his father might be wondering at his delay, he turned his steps towards his own lodgings.

    The Scottish Chiefs

  • I haven't seen Heidegger's history of philosophy described as a regress before, but I can see the narrative, that man was in the Garden of Beyng, then Plato drank from the tree of metaphysical kool-aid and we've been dealing with that original sin since.

    enowning

  • But she said that she started to regress, which is often -- also a hallmark of many people with autism.

    CNN Transcript Feb 22, 2007

  • The main argument for foundationalism is called the regress argument.

    Epistemology

  • Different as these views were, they represent the idea of regress; they imply a condemnation of the tendencies of actual social development and recommend a return to simpler and more primitive conditions.

    The Idea of Progress An inguiry into its origin and growth

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