[ woh ]
/ woʊ /


grievous distress, affliction, or trouble: His woe was almost beyond description.
an affliction: She suffered a fall, among her other woes.


an exclamation of grief, distress, or lamentation.

Origin of woe

before 900; Middle English wo (interjection and noun), Old English (interjection) (cf. wellaway); cognate with Dutch wee, German Weh, Old Norse vei, Latin vae
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for woe

British Dictionary definitions for woe

/ (wəʊ) /


literary intense grief or misery
(often plural) affliction or misfortune
woe betide someone misfortune will befall someonewoe betide you if you arrive late


Also: woe is me archaic an exclamation of sorrow or distress

Word Origin for woe

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