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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for woes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The employees of the store poured their woes into his ears; and never in vain.

    The Romance of a Great Store Edward Hungerford
  • The pressure of her hand by her husband effaced all woes, present and future.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • He served as a publisher's hack and he knew from personal experience the woes of Grub-street writers.

    Comfort Found in Good Old Books George Hamlin Fitch
  • "We used to cry over Uncle Tom's woes," the doctor continued.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • My woes would come as soon as he departed; but I hoped to have the raft ready for a movement by that time.

    Down The River Oliver Optic
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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Word Value for woes

7
7
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