woe

[ woh ]
/ woʊ /
||

noun

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

interjection

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for woes

British Dictionary definitions for woes

woe

/ (wəʊ) /

noun

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

interjection

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

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