[ woh-bi-gawn, -gon ]
/ ˈwoʊ bɪˌgɔn, -ˌgɒn /


beset with woe; affected by woe, especially in appearance.
showing or indicating woe: He always had a woebegone look on his face.

Nearby words

  1. wodehouse, p. g.,
  2. woden,
  3. wodge,
  4. wodzislaw slaski,
  5. woe,
  6. woeful,
  7. woefully,
  8. woesome,
  9. wof,
  10. woffington

Origin of woebegone

1300–50; Middle English wo begon orig., woe (has or had) surrounded (someone); wo woe + begon, past participle of begon, Old English begān to surround, besiege (see be-, go1)

Related formswoe·be·gone·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for woebegone

British Dictionary definitions for woebegone


/ (ˈwəʊbɪˌɡɒn) /


sorrowful or sad in appearance
archaic afflicted with woe

Word Origin for woebegone

C14: from a phrase such as me is wo begon woe has beset me

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

Word Origin and History for woebegone



c.1300, in me is wo bigone "woe has beset me," from woe + begon "to beset, surround."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper