[ woo ]
See synonyms for: woowooedwooingwooer on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to seek the favor, affection, or love of, especially with a view to marriage.

  2. to seek to win: to woo fame.

  1. to invite (consequences, whether good or bad) by one's own action; court: to woo one's own destruction.

  2. to seek to persuade (a person, group, etc.), as to do something; solicit; importune.

verb (used without object)
  1. to seek the affection or love of someone, usually a woman; court: He was reminded of his youth when he went wooing.

  2. to solicit favor or approval; entreat: Further attempts to woo proved useless.

Origin of woo

First recorded before 1050; Middle English wowe, Old English wōgian; ultimate origin uncertain

Other words for woo

Other words from woo

  • wooer, noun
  • woo·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·wooed, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use woo in a sentence

  • Ilmarinen arrives at the homestead of Pohjola, woos the daughter of the house, and perilous tasks are assigned to him (1-32).

  • He woos and wins the daughter of a country clergyman, marries, and finds a young family growing up around him.

    Crabbe, (George) | Alfred Ainger

British Dictionary definitions for woo


/ (wuː) /

verbwoos, wooing or wooed
  1. to seek the affection, favour, or love of (a woman) with a view to marriage

  2. (tr) to seek after zealously or hopefully: to woo fame

  1. (tr) to bring upon oneself (good or evil results) by one's own action

  2. (tr) to beg or importune (someone)

Origin of woo

Old English wōgian, of obscure origin

Derived forms of woo

  • wooer, noun
  • wooing, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with woo


see pitch woo.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.