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.

Nearby words

  1. woden,
  2. wodge,
  3. wodzislaw slaski,
  4. woe,
  5. woebegone,
  6. woefully,
  7. woesome,
  8. wof,
  9. woffington,
  10. wog

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 woefully

British Dictionary definitions for woefully


/ (ˈwəʊfəl) /


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

Word Origin and History for woefully



c.1300, "afflicted with sorrow," from woe + -ful. Weakened sense of "very bad" recorded by 1610s. Related: Woefully; woefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper