Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

woe

play
interjection \ˈwō\

Definition of woe

  1. —used to express grief, regret, or distress



Examples of woe in a sentence

  1. <ah, woe, with the death of the last of my siblings I am alone in this world!>



Origin and Etymology of woe

Middle English wa, wo, from Old English wā; akin to Old Norse vei, interjection, woe, Latin vae


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

woe

noun

Simple Definition of woe

  • : a feeling of great pain or sadness

  • woes : problems or troubles

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of woe

  1. 1 :  a condition of deep suffering from misfortune, affliction, or grief

  2. 2 :  ruinous trouble :  calamity, affliction <economic woes>

Examples of woe in a sentence

  1. The city's traffic woes are well-known.

  2. <a tale of misery and woe>



Before 12th Century

First Known Use of woe

before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of woe

sorrow, grief, anguish, woe, regret mean distress of mind. sorrow implies a sense of loss or a sense of guilt and remorse <a family united in sorrow upon the patriarch's death>. grief implies poignant sorrow for an immediate cause <the inexpressible grief of the bereaved parents>. anguish suggests torturing grief or dread <the anguish felt by the parents of the kidnapped child>. woe is deep or inconsolable grief or misery <cries of woe echoed throughout the bombed city>. regret implies pain caused by deep disappointment, fruitless longing, or unavailing remorse <nagging regret for missed opportunities>.

Rhymes with woe



WOE Defined for Kids

woe

play
noun \ˈwō\

Definition of woe for Students

  1. 1 :  great sorrow, grief, or misfortune :  trouble

  2. 2 :  something that causes a problem





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up woe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of, relating to, or near a shore

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

torrent megillah rebellion interruption
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ