woebegone

adjective
woe·be·gone | \ ˈwō-bi-ˌgȯn also -ˌgän \

Definition of woebegone 

1 : strongly affected with woe : woeful

2a : exhibiting great woe, sorrow, or misery a woebegone expression

b : being in a sorry state woebegone tattered clothes

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from woebegone

woebegoneness noun

Breaking Down woebegone

At first glance, woebegone looks like a word that has its meaning backwards; after all, if begone means "to go away," shouldn't woebegone mean "devoid of woe," or "happy"? Not exactly. The word derives from the Middle English phrase wo begon. The wo in this phrase simply means "woe," but begon (deriving from Old English began) is a past participle meaning "beset." Someone who is woebegone, therefore, is beset with woe. Since the early 19th century, the word has also been used to describe things that appear to express sadness, as in "a woebegone face."

Examples of woebegone in a Sentence

His face had a woebegone expression. the most woebegone people that I had ever seen in my life

Recent Examples on the Web

After a year spent off the rails, Taggart also should breathe some life and energy into a suddenly sour and woebegone program. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Which new college football hire in a major conference will win the most games in 2018?," 29 Jan. 2018 James could go to the Knicks and revive a woebegone franchise that hasn’t won a title since 1973. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Where will LeBron James play next season? Exploring his free-agency options," 9 June 2018 Hicks has the right look for a woebegone young woman who doesn’t want to take up a lot of space in the world. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "'The Color Purple' national tour turns down the wattage — and burns a little less brightly," 30 May 2018 Kerr assigns Andre Iguodala to run the morning shootaround and McGee to handle the pregame videosession, and lets various players run tim-out huddles against woebegone Phoenix. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Fun times throughout Warriors’ championship season," 10 June 2018 The woebegone history of Washington’s major team sports over the past couple of decades is well known in the District of Columbia and its suburbs in Virginia and Maryland. Erik Brady, USA TODAY, "Can Capitals break losing spell for woebegone Washington?," 23 May 2018 Clevinger's evening ended in favor of his woebegone bullpen, owners of a 5.68 ERA in 109.1 innings. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros take series opener against Indians," 18 May 2018 The first two woebegone blue bloods are Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and Diana, Princess of Wales, the late, sainted wife of Charles. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "‘The Duchess’ Review: How to Survive a Royal Romance," 17 May 2018 In what has become a ritual for the woebegone Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw played catch Tuesday afternoon. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw making progress, but still far from return to majors," 15 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of woebegone

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for woebegone

Middle English wo begon, from wo, noun + begon, past participle of begon to go about, beset, from Old English begān, from be- + gān to go — more at go

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about woebegone

Listen to Our Podcast about woebegone

Dictionary Entries near woebegone

wodge

Wodzisław Śląski

woe

woebegone

woeful

woehlerite

woe is me

Statistics for woebegone

Last Updated

27 Jul 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for woebegone

The first known use of woebegone was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for woebegone

woebegone

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of woebegone

: looking or feeling very sad

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on woebegone

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

WORD OF THE DAY

occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!