"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[woh] /woʊ/
grievous distress, affliction, or trouble:
His woe was almost beyond description.
an affliction:
She suffered a fall, among her other woes.
an exclamation of grief, distress, or lamentation.
Origin of woe
before 900; Middle English wo (interjection and noun), Old English (interjection) (cf. wellaway); cognate with Dutch wee, German Weh, Old Norse vei, Latin vae
1. anguish, tribulation, trial, wretchedness, melancholy. See sorrow.
1. joy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for woes
  • The solution to our social and economic woes lies in new technologies, in the cutting edge.
  • Blaming speculators for sovereign-debt woes is misguided.
  • None of the three will be a solution for all the world's water woes.
  • Thank you for reminding me of a time more pristine and void of the woes of the world.
  • Apple's keen on eliminating antenna woes in its products, even ones you may not even realize had antennas in the first place.
  • Lately, it has been advertising clean coal as the solution to our energy woes.
  • Everyone from greens to government officials has hyped a hydrogen-based economy as the panacea for fossil fuel woes.
  • Everyone in the business knows financial woes helped torpedo the first wave of atomic ambition four decades ago.
  • Myriad special interests combined with state budget woes mire two environmentally friendly ballot initiatives.
  • The woes of the financial services industry are partly to blame.
British Dictionary definitions for woes


(literary) intense grief or misery
(often pl) affliction or misfortune
woe betide someone, misfortune will befall someone: woe betide you if you arrive late
(archaic) Also woe is me. an exclamation of sorrow or distress
Word Origin
Old English wā, wǣ; related to Old Saxon, Old High German wē, Old Norse vei, Gothic wai, Latin vae, Sanskrit uvē; see wail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for woes



Old English wa, a common exclamation of lament in many languages (cf. Latin , Greek oa, German weh, Lettish wai, Old Irish fe, Welsh gwae, Armenian vay). The noun is attested from late 12c., from the interjection.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for woes



Excellent; great, tits, super

[1922+; first recorded in Sinclair Lewis, but afterwards chiefly British]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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