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. grief; sorrow; misery; heavy calamity.
    • Milton
      Thus saying, from her side the fatal key, / Sad instrument of all our woe, she took.
    • Alexander Pope
      [They] weep each other's woe.
  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?

Translations[edit]

Derived terms[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