Synonyms & Antonyms of woe

(Entry 1 of 2)

used to express sorrow or distress
  • ah, woe, with the death of the last of my siblings I am alone in this world!

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Synonyms & Antonyms of woe (Entry 2 of 2)

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Frequently Asked Questions About woe

How is the word woe different from other nouns like it?

Some common synonyms of woe are anguish, grief, regret, and sorrow. While all these words mean "distress of mind," woe is deep or inconsolable grief or misery.

cries of woe echoed throughout the bombed city

When is it sensible to use anguish instead of woe?

The meanings of anguish and woe largely overlap; however, anguish suggests torturing grief or dread.

the anguish felt by the parents of the kidnapped child

When is grief a more appropriate choice than woe?

The words grief and woe can be used in similar contexts, but grief implies poignant sorrow for an immediate cause.

the inexpressible grief of the bereaved parents

Where would regret be a reasonable alternative to woe?

While the synonyms regret and woe are close in meaning, regret implies pain caused by deep disappointment, fruitless longing, or unavailing remorse.

nagging regret for missed opportunities

When can sorrow be used instead of woe?

While in some cases nearly identical to woe, sorrow implies a sense of loss or a sense of guilt and remorse.

a family united in sorrow upon the patriarch's death

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Time Traveler for woe

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Woe.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on woe

Dictionary: Definition of woe

Nglish: Translation of woe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of woe for Arabic Speakers

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