\ˈwō \

Definition of woe 

(Entry 1 of 2)

used to express grief, regret, or distress

woe

noun

Definition of woe (Entry 2 of 2)

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

2 : ruinous trouble : calamity, affliction economic woes

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Choose the Right Synonym for woe

Noun

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

Examples of woe in a Sentence

Interjection

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

Noun

The city's traffic woes are well-known. a tale of misery and woe
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Thousands took to Iran’s streets last month to protest economic woes and a plummeting currency, after widespread street demonstrations roiled the Islamic Republic in January. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "Iran Struggles With Unrest in Pivotal Oil Hub," 28 Sep. 2018 The trailer for season three has arrived and features marital drama, financial woes, and wild accusations. Sydney Scott, Essence.com, "The Quick Read: The Obamas Are Reportedly Close To Inking A Deal With Netflix," 9 Mar. 2018 Last year, money woes forced the non-profit group to cancel one of its twice-yearly charter flights to Washington D.C., where World War II vets are treated to a free weekend tour of the national monuments. John Wilkens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Honor Flight for war vets in danger of being grounded again," 10 July 2018 That could add to farmers’ woes: Thanks in large part to lower grain prices, U.S. net farm income has plunged by over 50% since 2013. Nicolas Rapp, Fortune, "Why Trump's Trade War Could Mean Heavy Losses for U.S. Farmers," 2 July 2018 The protracted issues with payroll are the most recent woes for SAP, an ambitious and massively complex project that began in 2012 under the administration of Mayor Dan Sullivan. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Nine months into new software system, Anchorage city government’s payroll problems persist," 28 June 2018 Between the Gators' depth at receiver and injury woes, Worton played in 13 games during his three seasons at UF. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "A former Florida Gators wide receiver is now on scholarship at FIU," 21 June 2018 The woes continued for Liriano who then hit the next two batters before Guerrero hit a single to right to score two more. Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers Francisco Liriano struggles in rehab start for Toledo," 17 June 2018 As the Bay Area grapples with infrastructure and civic woes, large companies are increasingly attractive targets for more tax revenue, said Jesse Rothstein, a professor of public policy and economics at UC Berkeley. Roland Li, SFChronicle.com, "As Silicon Valley looks to tax tech, San Francisco has lightened its load," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'woe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of woe

Interjection

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for woe

Interjection

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

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Statistics for woe

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Time Traveler for woe

The first known use of woe was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for woe

woe

noun

English Language Learners Definition of woe

: a feeling of great pain or sadness

woes : problems or troubles

woe

noun
\ˈwō \

Kids Definition of woe

1 : great sorrow, grief, or misfortune : trouble

2 : something that causes a problem

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