woe

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English wo, wei, wa, from Old English , wēa, from Proto-Germanic *wai, whence also Dutch wee, German weh, Danish ve, Yiddish וויי (vey). Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *wai. Compare Latin vae, French ouais, Ancient Greek οὐαί (ouaí), Persian وای (vây) (Turkish vay, a Persian borrowing), and Armenian վայ (vay).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

woe (countable and uncountable, plural woes)

  1. great sadness
    Synonyms: grief, sorrow, misery
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost
      Thus saying, from her side the fatal key, / Sad instrument of all our woe, she took.
    • 1717, Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard
      Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose / That well-known name awakens all my woes.
    • October 14 2017, Sandeep Moudgal, The Times of India, Rains devastate families, political parties make beeline to apply balm on open wounds
      The Friday night rains which wrecked families in Kurabarahalli saw all the three major political parties making a beeline to express their condolences, listen to their woes and provide compensation in the hope of garnering their goodwill ahead of the 2018 assembly elections.
  2. A curse; a malediction.
    • South
      Can there be a woe or curse in all the stores of vengeance equal to the malignity of such a practice?

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

woe (comparative more woe, superlative most woe)

  1. (obsolete) woeful; sorrowful
    • Robert of Brunne
      His clerk was woe to do that deed.
    • Chaucer
      Woe was this knight and sorrowfully he sighed.
    • Spenser
      And looking up he waxed wondrous woe.

Anagrams[edit]


Limburgish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Dutch woe, from Old Dutch *wuo, from Proto-Germanic *hwō.

Adverb[edit]

woe

  1. where
    Boe is Sjeng?Where is John?

Alternative forms[edit]

  • boe (Maastrichtian)

Middle Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Dutch *wuo, from Proto-Germanic *hwō.

Adverb[edit]

woe

  1. (eastern) Alternative form of hoe