or wo·ful

[ woh-fuhl ]
/ ˈwoʊ fəl /


full of woe; wretched; unhappy: a woeful situation.
affected with, characterized by, or indicating woe: woeful melodies.
of wretched quality; sorry; poor: a woeful collection of paintings.

Origin of woeful

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at woe, -ful

Related forms

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

Examples from the Web for woeful

British Dictionary definitions for woeful


/ (ˈwəʊfəl) /


expressing or characterized by sorrow
bringing or causing woe
pitiful; miserablea woeful standard of work

Derived Forms

woefully, adverbwoefulness, 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