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woe

[woh] /woʊ/
noun
1.
grievous distress, affliction, or trouble:
His woe was almost beyond description.
2.
an affliction:
She suffered a fall, among her other woes.
interjection
3.
an exclamation of grief, distress, or lamentation.
Origin of woe
900
before 900; Middle English wo (interjection and noun), Old English (interjection) (cf. wellaway); cognate with Dutch wee, German Weh, Old Norse vei, Latin vae
Synonyms
1. anguish, tribulation, trial, wretchedness, melancholy. See sorrow.
Antonyms
1. joy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for woe
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Did she not break into lamentation and woe that a brother should so demean himself?

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • We could not miss the way, our driver said, and woe betide us if we did!

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • woe to him who is not the keeper of his own conscience—the supporter of his own resolution!

  • A month will decide the one, perhaps: But what a duration of woe will the other be!

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Or was it not in that hour—that solemn commune—soothed from its woe?

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for woe

woe

/wəʊ/
noun
1.
(literary) intense grief or misery
2.
(often pl) affliction or misfortune
3.
woe betide someone, misfortune will befall someone: woe betide you if you arrive late
interjection
4.
(archaic) Also woe is me. an exclamation of sorrow or distress
Word Origin
Old English wā, wǣ; related to Old Saxon, Old High German wē, Old Norse vei, Gothic wai, Latin vae, Sanskrit uvē; see wail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for woe
n.

Old English wa, a common exclamation of lament in many languages (cf. Latin , Greek oa, German weh, Lettish wai, Old Irish fe, Welsh gwae, Armenian vay). The noun is attested from late 12c., from the interjection.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for woe

woe

Related Terms

tale of woe

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Word Value for woe

6
6
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