What Does Rue Mean?


For such a small word, rue has quite a few meanings. Standing for deep emotions, types of medicinal herbs and the most common word on French street signs, the word rue takes on several forms.


  • As a verb, to rue means to regret intensely or to regret something.

Verb 2

  • As a verb, rue can also mean to have compassion as in "tears of pitying rue," one dictionary offers.


  • As a noun, rue is synonymous with sorrow, repentance, anguish, remorse, commiseration, compassion and contrition.

Perennial Plants

  • There are several plants referred to by the name rue: ruta graveolens, a perennial plant used in medicine and having a pungent odor and a bitter taste; rue anemone, a white and yellow springtime flower with rounded leaves; and ruta-muraria, a fern plant growing on vertical rocky surfaces in Europe and New England and commonly called wall rue.

French Street

  • Rue is French for street or road.

Swiss Municipality

  • Rue is also a municipality in the Swiss district of Glane in the Fribourg canton.

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