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Webster 1913 Edition


Woe

Woe

,
Noun.
[OE.
wo
,
wa
, woo, AS.
wā
, interj.; akin to D.
wee
, OS. & OHG.
wē
, G.
weh
, Icel.
vei
, Dan.
vee
, Sw.
ve
, Goth.
wai
; cf. L.
vae
, Gr. [GREEK]. √128. Cf.
Wail
.]
[Formerly written also
wo
.]
1.
Grief; sorrow; misery; heavy calamity.
Thus saying, from her side the fatal key,
Sad instrument of all our
woe
, she took.
Milton.
[They] weep each other’s
woe
.
Pope.
2.
A curse; a malediction.
Can there be a
woe
or curse in all the stores of vengeance equal to the malignity of such a practice?
South.
Woe is used in denunciation, and in exclamations of sorrow. “ Woe is me! for I am undone.”
Isa. vi. 5.
O!
woe
were us alive [i.e., in life].
Chaucer.
Woe
unto him that striveth with his Maker!
Isa. xlv. 9.
Woe worth
,
Woe be to. See
Worth
,
Verb.
I.
Woe worth
the chase,
woe worth
the day,
That costs thy life, my gallant gray!
Sir W. Scott.

Woe

,
Adj.
Woeful; sorrowful.
[Obs.]
His clerk was
woe
to do that deed.
Robert of Brunne.
Woe
was this knight and sorrowfully he sighed.
Chaucer.
And looking up he waxed wondrous
woe
.
Spenser.

Definition 2022


woe

woe

English

Noun

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

Derived terms

Adjective

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