Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To return to a previous, usually worse or less developed state.
  • intransitive verb To have a tendency to approach or go back to a statistical mean.
  • intransitive verb To move backward or away from a reference point; recede.
  • intransitive verb To induce a state of regression in.
  • noun The act of regressing, especially the returning to a previous, usually worse or less developed state.
  • noun The act of reasoning backward from an effect to a cause or of continually applying a process of reasoning to its own results.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act of passing back; passage back; return; retrogression.
  • noun The power or liberty of passing back.
  • verb intransitive To move backwards to an earlier stage; to devolve.
  • verb transitive, statistics To perform a regression on an explanatory variable.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Latin regredī, regress- : re-, re- + gradī, to go; see ghredh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

(verb) From Latin regressus, past participle of regredi ("to go back"), from re- ("back") + gradi ("to go").

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.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • 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

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