from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Compassion or pity for another.
- n. Sorrow or misery about one's own misdeeds or flaws.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Sorrow for the misery of another; pity; tenderness.
- n. That which causes pity or compassion; misery; distress; a pitiful sight.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Sorrow; misery; grief.
- n. That which brings ruth; cruel or barbarous conduct.
- n. Sorrow for the misery of another; compassion; pity; mercy; tenderness.
- n. Repentance; regret.
- n. A pitiful sight; a pity.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the great-grandmother of king David whose story is told in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament
- n. a book of the Old Testament that tells the story of Ruth who was not an Israelite but who married an Israelite and who stayed with her mother-in-law Naomi after her husband died
- n. a feeling of sympathy and sorrow for the misfortunes of others
- n. United States professional baseball player famous for hitting home runs (1895-1948)
Middle English ruthe, from Old Norse hrygdh (influenced by Old English hrēow, sorrow, regret).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English ruthe, reowthe, corresponding to rue + -th, perhaps after early Scandinavian (compare Old Norse hrygð, hryggð ("ruth, sorrow")). Compare rue. (Wiktionary)