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woo +‎ -er; from Middle English wowere, from Old English wōgere, from wōgian (to woo).



wooer (plural wooers)

  1. Someone who woos or courts.
    • 1595, Edmund Spenser, Amoretti in Amoretti and Epithalamion, London: William Ponsonby, Sonnet 23,[1]
      Penelope for her Vlisses sake,
      Deuiz’d a Web her wooers to deceaue:
      in which the worke that she all day did make
      the same at night she did againe vnreaue,
    • 1596-99?, William Shakespeare,The Merchant of Venice, Act I, scene ii:
      Whiles we shut the gate upon one wooer, another knocks at the door.
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, London, Volume 4, Letter 23, p. 120,[2]
      She wrote such a widow-like refusal when she went from me, as might not exclude hope in any other wooer; whatever it may do in Mr. Tony Harlowe.
    • 1848, Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton, Chapter 8,[3]
      Sally Leadbitter was vulgar-minded to the last degree; never easy unless her talk was of love and lovers; in her eyes it was an honour to have had a long list of wooers.
    • 1928, Dorothy Parker, “For a Favorite Granddaughter” in Sunset Gun, Garden City, NY: Sun Dial, p. 62,[4]
      Never hold your heart in pain
      For an evil-doer;
      Never flip it down the lane
      To a gifted wooer.
    • 1997, Saul Bellow, The Actual, New York: Viking, p. 20,[5]
      She was, I think, the only girl I ever called on. I wasn’t much of a wooer. When I rang at her front door, her mother seemed taken aback. I should have been the dry cleaner’s messenger, picking up the blouses.




  • Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967
  • Cambridge International Dictionary of English, "Wooer," [6].