9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for woe
  • Remember, the earthquake and tsunami brought woe and suffering in this instance to these horses.
  • Genius expects to get its way, and woe be unto those who disagree.
  • Neuroscientists and engineers in the area of implant technologies offer a similar tale of woe.
  • woe is me for the by-gone days when everyone read the dictionary and the world was filled with monocle-wearing, tweedy professors.
  • Virtually every corner of the sky is filled with some tale of woe.
  • And woe to any studio executive who got too close to the lion's cage.
  • woe to the trainee who let the pain show in his face.
  • Such luxury at a time of economic woe may be surprising.
  • They can arrive at all hours of the day or night, and woe unto to the poet who is not ready to receive them.
  • She points out that the oft-repeated examples of fatherless woe confound the impact of being raised by a single parent.
British Dictionary definitions for woe


(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for woe

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
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for woe



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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for woe

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for woe

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with woe

Nearby words for woe