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2017 Word of the Year

woeful

or woful

[woh-fuh l] /ˈwoʊ fəl/
adjective
1.
full of woe; wretched; unhappy:
a woeful situation.
2.
affected with, characterized by, or indicating woe:
woeful melodies.
3.
of wretched quality; sorry; poor:
a woeful collection of paintings.
Origin of woeful
1250-1300
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
Synonyms
3. unpromising, unlikely, dreadful, awful.
Dictionary.com 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
  • At length the frost and snow really did come, and the Chickadees were in a woeful case.

    Johnny Bear E. T. Seton
  • And you cannot yet understand all the woeful sadness of the things of which I have been talking to you.

  • His hands, encased in mitts, had placed him at a woeful disadvantage.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • Next he laughed softly to himself, a laugh that was woeful with bitterness.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
  • The doctor's threats were interrupted by the entrance of a woeful procession.

    The Doctor's Family Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
British Dictionary definitions for woeful

woeful

/ˈwəʊfəl/
adjective
1.
expressing or characterized by sorrow
2.
bringing or causing woe
3.
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
adj.

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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Word Value for woeful

12
14
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