woe to/betide

idiom

old-fashioned
used as a warning that there will be trouble if someone does something specified
Woe betide anyone who enters here!
Woe to any student who is late for her class.

Examples of woe to/betide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Listeners are encircled in rich and richly present sound — and, woe to the jet-lagged, tucked into dangerously comfortable seats (designed by the German automaker Recaro). Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 6 Mar. 2024 But woe to those who mistake his European civility for a lack of competitive fire. John Seabrook, The New Yorker, 29 Jan. 2024 And woe to the one who, in the eyes of the receiver, gives something unwanted. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2023 The Death Star succors, energizes, feeds, clothes, medicates, houses, warms, and cools us with its throbbing complexity—woe to the planets in the way of its progress. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's Magazine, 1 Nov. 2023 But such a Red Caesar is unlikely, says Anton, because—woe to us!—conservatives are still too weak and disorganized. Katherine Stewart, The New Republic, 10 Aug. 2023 Pro-drainage legislation helped the process along, and woe betide the landowner who resisted his neighbor’s drain work. Annie Proulx, The New Yorker, 27 June 2022 Parents of all political stripes have emerged as one of the most potent forces in campaigns and elections today, and woe to anyone seen as standing in the way of their kids’ education. Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2022 Critics have been sent the season’s first four episodes, but woe betide anybody who spoils much of anything about this run of backstabbing adventures in the realm of excess. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'woe to/betide.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near woe to/betide

Cite this Entry

“Woe to/betide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woe%20to%2Fbetide. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

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