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2017 Word of the Year

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 woes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Oh, foolish woman, if you do, you only exchange your woes for worse ones.

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • She may be surrounded with variety of woes, but none of them shall approach her.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • He leads her straight into the woes: will she follow, will she hold back?

    The Prodigal Returns Lilian Staveley
  • We were not then prepared for peace, that sovereign balm for a nation's woes.

  • I can not hear the recital of their woes without the deepest sympathy.

    Henry IV, Makers of History John S. C. Abbott
British Dictionary definitions for woes

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 woes

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 woes

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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Nearby words for woes

Word Value for woes

7
7
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