woe·​ful | \ ˈwō-fəl How to pronounce woeful (audio) \
variants: or less commonly woful

Definition of woeful

1 : full of woe : grievous woeful prophecies
2 : involving or bringing woe
3 : lamentably bad or serious : deplorable woeful ignorance

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Other Words from woeful

woefully \ ˈwō-​f(ə-​)lē How to pronounce woefully (audio) \ adverb
woefulness \ ˈwō-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce woefulness (audio) \ noun

Examples of woeful in a Sentence

The puppy had woeful eyes. The student's grades were woeful.
Recent Examples on the Web Prediction Thunder 113, Warriors 108 The two teams have combined for a woeful 8-24 record this year. Chris Wassel, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors odds, picks and best bets," 25 Nov. 2019 Saturday’s final game of the regular season comes against an almost equally woeful Maryland squad. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Why Rutgers should be Michigan State football's cautionary tale of how a program can crumble," 25 Nov. 2019 The Wolves made a woeful 11 of their 21 attempts in their loss Wednesday to Utah. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Timberwolves are struggling from the free-throw line. Is their pace to blame?," 22 Nov. 2019 The Cavs got crushed by the woeful Knicks, 123-105. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers get unfriendly reminder of Kevin Love’s importance in 123-105 blowout loss to New York Knicks," 19 Nov. 2019 The Ukrainian armed forces were in woeful condition when the war broke out in 2014. Sergey Morgunov, Washington Post, "U.S. military aid bolsters Ukraine’s front lines, but the Trump drama makes Kyiv nervous," 19 Nov. 2019 The team stood 4-2, coming off a tighter-than-expected win over the woeful Cincinnati Bengals. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Five Things We Learned from the Ravens’ 41-7 win over the Houston Texans," 18 Nov. 2019 Another type of forward wouldn't work for the club, which is demonstrated by Matej Vydra's woeful goal record for the Lancastrians. SI.com, "Ashley Barnes & Chris Wood Might Actually Be the Best Strike Partnership in the Premier League," 30 Sep. 2019 Being better than the woeful, directionless Knicks is not the goal. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Collin Sexton’s career night helps Cleveland Cavaliers continue dominance against Knicks, 108-87," 11 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'woeful.' 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 woeful

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for woeful

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for woeful

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Woeful.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woefullest. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for woeful


How to pronounce woeful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of woeful

: full of woe : very sad
: very bad


woe·​ful | \ ˈwō-fəl How to pronounce woeful (audio) \

Kids Definition of woeful

1 : full of grief or misery a woeful heart a woeful tale
2 : bringing woe or misery a woeful day
3 : very bad Your grades are woeful.

Other Words from woeful

woefully adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on woeful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for woeful

Spanish Central: Translation of woeful

Nglish: Translation of woeful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of woeful for Arabic Speakers

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