Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

Words You've Been Using Wrong

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. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for woefully
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • My dear, you will be woefully disappointed if in my story you expect any thing like a novel.

  • "It seems that I am woefully ignorant of the Bay," continued Hermione.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • Several times her recitations were halting, once woefully incorrect.

  • His voice was low and threatening, but his words were woefully distinct.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
  • Credit is woefully inflated; speculation and waste are rampant.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
British Dictionary definitions for woefully

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for woefully

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for woefully

Word Value for woefully

17
19
Scrabble Words With Friends