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90s Slang You Should Know


or woful

[woh-fuh l] /ˈwoʊ fəl/
full of woe; wretched; unhappy:
a woeful situation.
affected with, characterized by, or indicating woe:
woeful melodies.
of wretched quality; sorry; poor:
a woeful collection of paintings.
Origin of woeful
Middle English word dating back to 1250-1300; See origin at woe, -ful
Related forms
woefully, adverb
woefulness, noun
unwoeful, adjective
unwoefully, adverb
unwoefulness, noun
3. unpromising, unlikely, dreadful, awful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for woeful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In this woeful situation, though extremely weak, I was not deprived of sense.

    Caleb Williams William Godwin
  • He was steering at the time, and by some woeful mishap the pistol went off.

  • After all, he, even he, had not committed the most woeful of all blunders; though it was a mystery how he had escaped it.

    The Whirlpool George Gissing
  • With a cry, I was on my knees by his side, lifting his woeful head in my arms.

    Athelstane Ford Allen Upward
  • The servant ought not to be of woeful countenance before guests, but should receive them with an affable mind.

British Dictionary definitions for woeful


expressing or characterized by sorrow
bringing or causing woe
pitiful; miserable: a woeful standard of work
Derived Forms
woefully, adverb
woefulness, noun
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 woeful

c.1300, "afflicted with sorrow," from woe + -ful. Weakened sense of "very bad" recorded by 1610s. Related: Woefully; woefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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